The “1st National Workshop on Mercury Free Dentistry: The Need of Hour” was held at Hotel Suryansh as scheduled on 3rd June 2016. The program was inaugurated by the young and dynamic minister for Law and Panchayati Raj of the provincial government of Odisha, Shri Anrun Kumar Sahoo. The minister in his speech applauded the effort of World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry, Asian Center for Environmental Health and UNEP for choosing Odisha, the 1st State in India for this model project. He reiterated the commitment of Government of Odisha to support the activities initiated by OSVSWA in the State by various legislative and executive Government decision.
The inaugural session was presided over by Dr. G.S. Patnaik, National Convener of the National Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry (Initiated by OSVSWA), who in his introductory speech gave a brief overview of the National Workshop and the objective of the National Alliance.
Dr. Desiree Montecillo Narvaez, Program Officer, UNEP Chemicals and Waste Branch, Geneva, spoke about the global situation from the United Nations perspective. She particularly referred to the alarming situation of mercury poisoning in dentistry and elsewhere in Asia and Africa.
Attorney Charles G. Brown shared his vision of the World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry, and explained to the audience about the reasons for choosing Bhubaneswar as the focal center in India for all its activities across the country through the National Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry (initiated by OSVSWA).
Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Vice President of World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry and the President of Asian Center for Environmental Health, gave brief information about the situation of mercury use in dental sector in Asia with special reference to Bangladesh and Nepal. He assured that the Asian Center for Environmental Health headquartered at Dhaka would be the knowledge and dissemination center in Asia on research and scientific activities to phase out mercury amalgam from these countries.