On 26 April, 2015 the Chief Minister of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania has cautioned dentists on the use of dental amalgam saying the mercury in the chemical composition endangers human health.
This comes after one year campaign and advocacy conducted through the project, “Advocacy on the Phase-out of Mercury Amalgam in Dental Services in Tanzania” supported Consumers for Consumer for Dental Choice, World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry (WAMFD) and IPEN.
The activities during the project involved stakeholders’ workshop, production and dissemination of awareness materials, radio and TV interview and dialogue involving Dental Association of Tanzania, press releases and newspaper articles and visit and holding discussions with policy and decision makers in their offices. The workshop came up with priority issues and actions and formation of task team to follow-up with the action plan developed. One of the action items involve advocate for mercury-free dental filling materials and dental school curricular review.
It also utilized the Abuja Declaration for Mercury-Free Dentistry for Africa: Africa Shall Be the First Continent to Phase Out Amalgam as advocacy information and launched of the African Day of Mercury-Free Dentistry on 13th October 2014 in collaboration with other NGOs that endorsed the Abuja Declaration. In addition, AGENDA participated and made a presentation in the Tanzania Dental Association Annual Scientific Conference held in November 2014.
Key stakeholders involved in the project include Tanzania Dental Association, Dental School of the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Focal Point of Conventions – the Vice President’s Office–Division of Environment, dentists from public and private dental facilities, media houses, and civil society organizations, among others.