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Civil Affairs Team hosts first-ever dental hygiene course in Nigerien village
Soldiers and Airmen – partnered with local health professionals and dignitaries – are working to teach good dental hygiene habits to youth in the Agadez region of Niger.
Local school children learn how to floss during a dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
6 photos: Civil Affairs Team hosts first-ever dental hygiene course in Nigerien village
Photo 1 of 6: Local school children learn how to floss during a dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III) Download full-resolution version
Dr. Mahaman Aicha, an Agadez city dentist, teaches a dental hygiene course to local school children in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with the dentist to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
6 photos: Civil Affairs Team hosts first-ever dental hygiene course in Nigerien village
Photo 2 of 6: Dr. Mahaman Aicha, an Agadez city dentist, teaches a dental hygiene course to local school children in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with the dentist to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III) Download full-resolution version
A U.S. Airmen deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron distributes dental supplies to local school children during a dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
6 photos: Civil Affairs Team hosts first-ever dental hygiene course in Nigerien village
Photo 3 of 6: A U.S. Airmen deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron distributes dental supplies to local school children during a dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III) Download full-resolution version
Dr. Mahaman Aicha, an Agadez city dentist, inspects the teeth of a local student in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with the dentist to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
6 photos: Civil Affairs Team hosts first-ever dental hygiene course in Nigerien village
Photo 4 of 6: Dr. Mahaman Aicha, an Agadez city dentist, inspects the teeth of a local student in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with the dentist to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III) Download full-resolution version
A local student learns how to brush his teeth during a dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
6 photos: Civil Affairs Team hosts first-ever dental hygiene course in Nigerien village
Photo 5 of 6: A local student learns how to brush his teeth during a dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Airmen and Soldiers along with local dignitaries, students and healthcare providers take a group photo in commemoration of the first-ever dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
6 photos: Civil Affairs Team hosts first-ever dental hygiene course in Nigerien village
Photo 6 of 6: U.S. Airmen and Soldiers along with local dignitaries, students and healthcare providers take a group photo in commemoration of the first-ever dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III) Download full-resolution version
Local school children learn how to floss during a dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
Dr. Mahaman Aicha, an Agadez city dentist, teaches a dental hygiene course to local school children in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with the dentist to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
A U.S. Airmen deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron distributes dental supplies to local school children during a dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
Dr. Mahaman Aicha, an Agadez city dentist, inspects the teeth of a local student in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with the dentist to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
A local student learns how to brush his teeth during a dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
U.S. Airmen and Soldiers along with local dignitaries, students and healthcare providers take a group photo in commemoration of the first-ever dental hygiene course in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019. The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, to teach the Tsakatalam Primary School students for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, hosted the first-ever dental hygiene course for school children in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019.

The team partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, who taught the Tsakatalam Primary School children for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health.

“When I came into the classroom, I asked if anyone had a toothbrush. No one raised their hand,” said Aicha [translated to English]. “Dental hygiene is really important because if your mouth is unhealthy you become unhealthy. The children need to know how to properly brush their teeth.”

Since the students in the class did not own toothbrushes, their newly learned skills would be useless without the products necessary to clean their teeth.

As such two Airmen deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron, Senior Airman Ciscero Warren and Airman 1st Class James Bussell, started a hygiene supplies drive for locals living in Agadez, collecting donations from services members around the base.

“This deployment was my first time leaving the U.S., and when we saw the locals living in extreme poverty it changed the way I think about things,” said Bussell. “I realized that the people around here really don’t have much, like the basic stuff that we take for granted every day. So we figured with just a little bit of money, we’ll be able to do at least something to help these people.”

Thanks to the donations, each child in the class took home a dental care package including a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss.

“It feels good to give back,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Lonny Quarford, 443rd CAB, CAT 219 civil affairs NCO. “We created this program with the dentist and chose Tsakatalam as our first stop, but we are going to bring this to as many schools as we can.”

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