CJTF-HOA Civil Affairs team teaches local children oral hygiene, preventative care

In a classroom filled with dozens of children, members of the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team conducted an oral hygiene demonstration in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8.


“Prevention is the best medicine,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Owen, a comprehensive dentist with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team. “What we’re trying to do is give them the tools and supplies so that they can avoid tooth pain, decay and infection. That is more effective than waiting until an infection happens, and then treating it.”
By Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Djibouti Aug 12, 2017
View Gallery
fallback
Gallery contains 6 images

DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti— “Does anyone know what this is used for?” U.S. Army Sgt. Justin Wallace asked while holding a toothbrush. 

Without pause, children in the room made motions as if brushing their teeth with an invisible toothbrush.

That’s right,” confirms Wallace. “This is used to brush your teeth.” 

In a classroom filled with dozens of children, members of the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team conducted an oral hygiene demonstration in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Aug. 8.

The Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team includes medical doctors, veterinarians, nurses, dentists, medics, environmental science experts, and other medical specialists.  This robust medical capability uniquely positions Civil Affairs to deliver and share clinical, educational and administrative expertise throughout various regions in the Horn of Africa, ultimately building trust and friendships with the local population.

Using dental models called typodonts, as well as toothbrush and toothpaste samples, Wallace, a dental specialist with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team, conducted two classes in which he demonstrated proper brushing procedures and methods. This included allowing the children to get involved by showcasing what they learned.

“During initial assessments, we observed that there may be a lack of dental care among the youth that frequent Caritas Djibouti,” said Wallace. “As a result, we developed a block of instruction that would provide the children with the education and supplies needed for effective oral hygiene care.”

Caritas Djibouti is a humanitarian organization that contributes emergency aid and education to the inhabitants of Djibouti, mostly to children living on the street.

The two classes spanned nearly 30 minutes each, reinforcing to about 60 children who participated the necessity of preventive oral health care.

“Prevention is the best medicine,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Owen, a comprehensive dentist with the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion functional specialty team. “What we’re trying to do is give them the tools and supplies so that they can avoid tooth pain, decay and infection. That is more effective than waiting until an infection happens, and then treating it.”

After each class, the children left with their own personal oral hygiene kit that included a toothbrush and toothpaste. Now, better equipped to take care of their smiles, they each filed out of the room sporting one—confirming the course’s success.

“The impact of what was done today doesn’t just end with these children,” said Owen. “The positive perceptions that they now have of the U.S. military members and Americans will stay with them and can be passed along to others that they interact with as well.

More in Media Room
U.S. service members take part in joint-force marksmanship competition in Kenya
CAMP SIMBA, Kenya – U.S. service members from the U.S. Army National Guard and U.S. Air Force, assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), participated in a joint-force combined arms marksmanship competition July 20-25, 2022, at Camp Simba, Kenya. The event hosted 52 participants with individual and team competitions using multiple weapon systems. The matches simulated combat scenarios with competitors engaging targets from multiple distances and positions, with target transitioning, weapon manipulation, while combining all of those skills under the stress of time and accuracy.
Read more
U.S. Soldiers saves lives in Kenya
On Wednesday, May 25th, 1st squad, 1st platoon, B Company, 1-116th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Red Dragon, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) were conducting an area security patrol outside of Camp Simba, in Manda Bay, Kenya. They responded to an automobile accident during the course of their patrol where they freed victims from an overturned vehicle and provided medical aid to individuals involved in the accident.
Read more
Camp Lemonnier Expeditionary Medical Facility partners with Civil Affairs to conduct Knowledge Exchange with Djiboutian nurses
Members of Camp Lemonnier’s Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) collaborated with members of the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion, assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), to conduct a knowledge exchange event at the Dar El Hanan Hospital in Djibouti City, Djibouti, from June 30 to July 21, 2022.
Read more
More in Media Room
U.S. service members take part in joint-force marksmanship competition in Kenya
CAMP SIMBA, Kenya – U.S. service members from the U.S. Army National Guard and U.S. Air Force, assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), participated in a joint-force combined arms marksmanship competition July 20-25, 2022, at Camp Simba, Kenya. The event hosted 52 participants with individual and team competitions using multiple weapon systems. The matches simulated combat scenarios with competitors engaging targets from multiple distances and positions, with target transitioning, weapon manipulation, while combining all of those skills under the stress of time and accuracy.
Read more
U.S. Soldiers saves lives in Kenya
On Wednesday, May 25th, 1st squad, 1st platoon, B Company, 1-116th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Red Dragon, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) were conducting an area security patrol outside of Camp Simba, in Manda Bay, Kenya. They responded to an automobile accident during the course of their patrol where they freed victims from an overturned vehicle and provided medical aid to individuals involved in the accident.
Read more
Camp Lemonnier Expeditionary Medical Facility partners with Civil Affairs to conduct Knowledge Exchange with Djiboutian nurses
Members of Camp Lemonnier’s Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) collaborated with members of the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion, assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), to conduct a knowledge exchange event at the Dar El Hanan Hospital in Djibouti City, Djibouti, from June 30 to July 21, 2022.
Read more
More in Media Room
U.S. service members take part in joint-force marksmanship competition in Kenya
CAMP SIMBA, Kenya – U.S. service members from the U.S. Army National Guard and U.S. Air Force, assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), participated in a joint-force combined arms marksmanship competition July 20-25, 2022, at Camp Simba, Kenya. The event hosted 52 participants with individual and team competitions using multiple weapon systems. The matches simulated combat scenarios with competitors engaging targets from multiple distances and positions, with target transitioning, weapon manipulation, while combining all of those skills under the stress of time and accuracy.
Read more
U.S. Soldiers saves lives in Kenya
On Wednesday, May 25th, 1st squad, 1st platoon, B Company, 1-116th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Red Dragon, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) were conducting an area security patrol outside of Camp Simba, in Manda Bay, Kenya. They responded to an automobile accident during the course of their patrol where they freed victims from an overturned vehicle and provided medical aid to individuals involved in the accident.
Read more
Camp Lemonnier Expeditionary Medical Facility partners with Civil Affairs to conduct Knowledge Exchange with Djiboutian nurses
Members of Camp Lemonnier’s Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) collaborated with members of the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion, assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), to conduct a knowledge exchange event at the Dar El Hanan Hospital in Djibouti City, Djibouti, from June 30 to July 21, 2022.
Read more