In 1987, Jamaica adopted an official salt fluoridation program to prevent dental caries. As a result, the number of children with dental caries fell by more than 80% over the succeeding decade. The success of the experience prompted the program to be selected for the book Millions Saved: Proven Successes in Global Health, published at the end of 2004 by the Center for Global Development. The book presents 17 case studies that are considered a major success in promoting public health in developing countries around the world. The book is available on the website: Center for Global Development.
The Jamaican program is one of the outcomes of efforts taken since the 70s by the Pan American Health Organization with the support of the Kellogg Foundation. The purpose is to disseminate in LAC countries the technique of salt fluoridation, an alternative approach to preventing dental caries in places where water fluoridation has proven unsuccessful given the population’s lack of access to piped water. The project has already involved 10 other countries, among them Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica and Uruguay.
Published in Interaction n° 9