GULF Continues to Power “GULF Sparks Smiles” Project Carries on the mission for a better society, from energy to quality of life’s improvement for locals
Publish on November 24, 2020
Oral health problems and dental check-ups are often neglected by many people, resulting in long-term dental health problems. With the COVID-19 pandemic, more people require assistance with dental care since dental services were put on hold as part of the preventive measures issued by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Management Center. With the situation now improved, the ‘GULF Sparks Smiles’ offsite dental clinic campaign was launched to proactively provide free dental treatments for patients in areas located far from public health centers. The initiative kicked off in October this year in Baan Ban Chado community, Bangkok.

Based on the positive feedback from both the community and general populcation who came for the treatment, Gulf Energy Development Public Company Limited or GULF and the Faculty of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University or Dent Chula made the decision to extend the ‘GULF Sparks Smiles’ campaign’, which is held at Nurul Aiasan Mosque (Tab Chang Bon), Bangkok. On this occasion, the team of dentists from Dent Chula, together with GULF employees, also hosted oral health knowledge sharing sessions for village health volunteers so that they could pass on the knowledge to colleagues and people in the community.

Ms. Yanisa Wattanakumnuan, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Gulf Energy Development Public Company Limited stated, “This is the second time that we organized an offsite dental unit under the name “GULF Sparks Smiles” which is in line with our objective to organize one every month until the end of 2020. We received a positive response from the community following the first unit, so we decided to organize a dental unit at Nurul Aiasan Mosque (Tab Chang Bon), one of the communities where GULF distributed free meals during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is located far from public health centers, making travelling to access healthcare quite difficult. Therefore, we collaborated with Dent Chula to provide free dental treatment to people in the community with the aim of promoting good oral health and proper treatment for better quality of life.

“The Faculty of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University has run mobile dental units and offsite dental units for many years. The Faculty hopes to help those with limited access to effective dental care receive the proper treatment they need and improve their quality of life in a sustainable manner. We have also hosted oral health knowledge sharing sessions for Bangkok health volunteers, so they could share the knowledge and help take care of people in the community in the long term. We would like to thank GULF for their contribution in supporting our mission to build a society that develops sustainably together,” said Assoc. Prof. Lt. Dr. Rangsima Sakoolnamarka, Associate Dean, International Affairs Corporate Communication and Social Activities, Faculty of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University.

Regarding COVID-19 prevention and control measures, there is a screening point to measure body temperature, blood pressure, and pulse as well as take the history of patients at risk of COVID-19. Patients will receive queue cards, with seating in waiting areas arranged to maintain proper social distancing. Within the treatment area, preventive measures in dental health care settings established by the Thai Dental Council will also be strictly followed, with dentists and dental personnel donning protective equipment such as face shields, protective eyewear, medical masks, PPE suits and surgical gloves at all times during the dental procedures. Additionally, there are partitions between each patient and a strict cleaning regimen before and after every treatment. Extra oral suction will be used to reduce the diffusion of aerosols. As the treatment area is in an enclosed space, air conditioners will be cleaned along with the entire treatment area before and after the deployment of each unit. In addition, the number of patients will be controlled, with each patient allowed in the treatment area for no more than 20 minutes. The windows are opened periodically, with large fans to help with air flow. Moreover, there are plasma sterilizers to clean the air and reduce the spread of germs.
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