Oral Health Carnival is an annual event held by School of Dentistry (SOD) students and is commonly known as Oral Health Week (OHW). This year, Oral Health Carnival 2022 (OHW2022) with the theme “Trip to Fluorid(E)a” was held on 1 and 2 June 2022 at IMU’s campus in Bukit Jalil. It was held in conjunction with the IMU School of Dentistry (SOD)’s 15th anniversary. The event was organised by Semesters 1, 3 and 5 dental students.
This event is one of the first few students organised events that was held physically after 2 years of online events due to the pandemic, thus it was highly anticipated by the students from the different Schools in IMU.
Other than to raise oral health awareness and instil proper oral hygiene habits among the IMU community and public, the other objective of this year’s event, as seen from our theme, was to educate this community on the importance and benefits of fluoride in oral health care too. This is because many overlook the importance of fluoride which is to combat tooth decay by strengthening our teeth and repair early stages of damage to tooth enamel.
There were a few phases to OHW 2022, during the pre-event phase, a total of 12 oral health educational posts were posted on OHW 2022 official Instagram page (@imuohw_2022). Other than that, on 22 May 2022, a community service trip was made to Ti-Ratana Welfare Society in collaboration with IMU’s Asian Medical Student Association (AMSA). During the trip, students from both IMU SOD and AMSA educated the children aged 8 to 13 in the Home regarding the importance of oral health and proper oral hygiene habits. The children there were also gifted toothbrushes and toothpastes which the OHW2022 team had sponsored.
On the event days, 1 and 2 June 2022, six oral health educational booths were held in the atrium, 1 of the booths was held in collaboration with IMU AMSA and it was to spread awareness regarding the relation between oral health and systemic health. All the six booths used interactive and fun filled activities to educate the visitors regarding oral health. Some of the activities were egg scrubbing, word search, darts and many more. Participants who finished visiting four of the booths were given a goodie bag which consisted of toothbrush and toothpastes, they were also given a chance to join our lucky draw session.
Other than that, during the 1-hour lunch break on both days, there were exciting student performances held to enliven the university atmosphere and attract students and visitors to our event. Next, in order to raise funds, there were merchandise and food and drinks sales held in the driveway. The merchandise consists of our very own OHW2022 t-shirt, jacket, drawstring bags and memo pads. During both days, to increase participation, the students were encouraged to wear white, blue, yellow and floral themed clothing to show support to our event. There was even a photobooth with props setup in the atrium for students to take photos at. Lastly, a lucky draw session was held on both days to attract visitors.
On 1 June 2022, we were honoured to have some respectable VIPs attending our opening ceremony held in the atrium. The Guest of Honour for Oral Health Carnival 2022 was Dr Chia Jit Chie, the Director of Oral Health Policy and Strategic Planning Division from the Ministry of Health (MOH). The VIPs were some of the IMU’s Senior Management Team, they were IMU Group’s Chairman, YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman, and some of our Pro Vice-chancellors: Prof Victor Lim, Prof Datuk Lokman Hakim Sulaiman and Prof Vishna Devi A/P V. Nadarajah. From IMU SOD, Prof Dr Toh Chooi Gait also attended the ceremony. The OHW2022 team are grateful for the attendance of these VIPs as it showed their encouragement towards the event.
The opening ceremony started off with a welcoming speech by the President and Vice-president of OHW2022. Next, was an opening remark by A/Prof Sivakumar Arunachalam, followed by the opening speech by Dr Chia Jit Chie. Both of them mentioned the importance of oral health education especially among the Malaysian population. The speeches were followed by a lucky draw session for the VIPs and lecturers of SOD to increase engagement. Lastly, the opening ceremony ended with a thrilling performance by the IMU Cheer Club, both the VIPs and students were equally wowed by their performance.
On 2 June 2022, a simple closing ceremony was held. Prof Seow Liang Lin, the Dean of IMU SOD gave the closing speech. In her speech, she mentioned how grateful she is to be able to see Oral Health Week being held physically once again, she also gave encouragement to the OHW20222 team for all the hard work they put into the event. Next, a lucky draw session for the participants was held. Lastly, appreciation was given to the sponsors of the event.
Over the 2 days, there were a total of 504 registered participants. The high participation rate encouraged the OHW 2022 team as it showed that their efforts were fruitful. This year’s Oral Health Carnival 2022 was a success as it was able to educate the Ti-Ratana Welfare Society children, IMU Community and public regarding the importance of oral health and raise funds for further oral health related events. We hope the event was a beneficial one to the community.
The OHW2022 team would like to extend their appreciation to the following sponsors for making this event possible by sponsoring the goodie bags, lucky draw sessions and donations of products to communities in need:
- Pro Dental B
- NTC Dental Supplies
- Hawley & Hazel (Darlie)
- Colgate-Palmolive Malaysia,
- Jordan & Delfie and
- Asia Healthcare