The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry proudly announces its “First in Asia” Award to Ram Charitra Sah of Kathmandu, head of the very vibrant and effective NGO Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) Nepal.
Nepal is the first country in all of Asia to achieve mercury-free dentistry! The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, based in Washington with projects in 50 countries, provides this unique award that recognizes both the NGO leader who made it happen and the nation who came first.
“The quite challenging multi-year campaign to rid Nepal of toxic mercury win was engineered by Ram Sah,” said Charlie Brown, president of the World Alliance. “Deeply appreciative of Mr. Ram, we give this award to recognize his years of service to the people and environment of Nepal and of the Himalayas.”
“Ram Sah is recognized as one of the outstanding NGO leaders in Asia – and indeed the world,” said Siddika Sultana, director of the Asian Center for Environmental Health in Dhaka. “We are proud that our South Asian neighbor Nepal has gone to mercury-free dentistry, and we salute my friend Ram for leading the way.”
Mr. Ram graduated in Environmental Science with Distinction Division from Bangalore University; Bangalore under the Government of India Silver Jubilee Scholarship scheme provided to the Government of Nepal on the occasion of the 25th year of accession of the throne of Late King Birendra Bikram Shahdev of Nepal. Mr. Ram has over 20 years of working experience in the field of environment conservation and protection of public health.
Ram’s tireless research-based campaign efforts have established chemical safety issues in Nepal including bringing positive momentum about mercury-free dentistry and mercury-free health care services among the most stringent and rigid dental professionals and high-level policy makers through his strategic and visionary participatory approaches to engaging the Nepal Dental Association (NDA), high-level policymakers including leaders at ministries of health and environment of Nepal. As a result, the Government of Nepal, the Ministry of Health and Population has banned the import, purchase, and use of all mercury-based equipment in the health sector of Nepal effective from 17th July 2013 as well as time-bound phase-out schemes for mercury dental amalgam effective since 21st August 2019. NDA also made very positive decisions based on their national and international discussion and has already adopted mercury-free dentistry practices to the maximum extent possible. An academic institution like Kathmandu University has already made improvements in their dental college towards phasedown the use of dental amalgam in their theoretical as well as practical lessons.
Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) is an environmental NGO established in the year 2004, by a group of activists and experienced people from the medical, environmental, and public health sectors. CEPHED’s focus is to serve Nepalese people and communities in the field of public health and the environment. CEPHED has adopted the vision of connecting people to science and technology for healthy leaving and environmental safety and providing access to new scientific knowledge, technology and safety measures from the environment and public health sectors through research, publication, coordination, and capacity building, and policy dialogue.