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A Toxics-Free Future


In Cameroon, Charlie Brown visits pioneer dental practitioner that stop amalgam use

In continuation of his mercury-free dentistry campaign in Africa that started a week ago, President of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, Charlie Brown, an American, on Saturday October 28, 2017 left Yaounde, Cameroon for Lagos, Nigeria.

Brown, while in Cameroon met with one of the world’s earliest major success for mercury-free dentistry, Dr. Bouetou Theresia, who is also the Chief Medical Officer and Dental Supervisor at the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services.

The Cameroon Baptist Convention provides oral health care both at its hospital (a centre which includes a school and a church) and an array of clinics dotted across the nation.

Back in 2005, Dr. Bouetou made the pioneering decision to stop amalgam use at the hospital and the clinics, a decision implemented in 2007, fully a decade ago. She did so after intense reading about the subject and fully engaging her dentist colleagues.

Dr. Bouetou explained her decision that amalgam was not only an environmental hazard and a risk to patients, but a major hazard to the providers of oral health care – including, she notes with compassion, the housekeeper who must sweep up the spilt mercury.

“In my travels to nine African nations working for mercury-free dentistry, the meeting with Dr. Bouetou was one of the very top highlights,” Brown said. “Her work shows the impact of just one person in reducing pollution, improving oral health care, and protecting the safety of all who work in dental clinics. It was a great honour to meet someone I have known about for years.”

Kuepouo Gilbert of Yaoundé , who leads the well-known environmental NGO CREPD and who partners with the World Alliance, also attended the meeting. He added, “The work of Dr. Bouetou – mercury-free dentistry for a decade – shows that hospital dental clinics in Cameroon and throughout Africa can all go mercury-free. We urge them to do so, this year or next.”

The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, a Non-Governmental Organisation that has member across the world has continuously push for phase-down of dental amalgam.