The final day of the successful Souths Cares Indigenous Oral Health Care Program wrapped up last Thursday (December 4) at Kempsey South Primary School.

The school hosted seven other local schools to ensure that the positive Eat well, Play well, Brush well, Drink well, Stay well! messages reached as many students as possible.

Rabbitohs legends Rhys Wesser and Nathan Merritt delivered the education sessions to 305 local Indigenous students.

Rhys said that raising awareness of good oral health and hygiene practices was critical in reducing the likelihood of developing illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

“Aboriginal people have poorer oral health outcomes than other Australians so it is important that we continue to work towards the implementation of Close the Gap targets,” Rhys said.

“If we educate our young students early enough then it is more likely that fewer Aboriginal children will suffer from preventable dental problems.”

Trained dental staff from the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, Sydney University, and the Mid North Coast Oral Health Team assessed over 256 students from the following public schools:

·       Kempsey South

·       Bellbrook

·       East Kempsey

·       Greenhill

·       Willawarrin

·       Fredrickton

·       Kinchella

·       Aldavilla

“These free oral assessments are essential in identifying early signs of decay and that is why we ensure that referrals are made where required,” said Rhys.

Souths Cares would like to acknowledge and thank the many people that assisted in bringing their roads show to the NSW Mid North Coast:

·       Colgate

·       Poche Centre for Indigenous Health

·       Oral Health Strategy

·       NRL’s local Development Officers

·       Northern Local Health District

·       Mid North Coast Local Health District

·       School Principals, teaching staff and AEOs;

·       local AMS staff; and

·       Get Ready Mob.