Combatting global malnutrition and oral health problems among at-risk populations
We are on a mission to prevent oral health problems and preventable physical and mental health challenges caused by vitamin deficiencies through our innovative vitamin infused chewing gum
- EThrough every gum we sell to our customers
- EThrough the profits we allocate to subsidise provisions to at-risk groups
- EBy providing Vitaegum at low-cost to NGOs and institutions working with at-risk groups
Click to read about a target population:
There are over 10M displaced people globally
Health complications caused by vitamin deficiencies and poor dental health are global issues and major UN targets for sustainable development
Groups dependent on food rations are at high risk of malnutrition
- People dependent on food rations are at high risk of malnutrition.
- Relief supply consists primarily of nutritionally poor or incomplete foods, such as dehydrated food packs, white bread & rice.
- This often result in deficiency that cause widespread chronic and acute health issues. Scurvy, pellagra and beriberi frequently occur in populations dependent on food aid.
- Are anemic 50% 50%
- Have a Vitamin D deficiency 67% 67%
- Have a Vitamin A deficiency 20% 20%
Oral health challenges
- Has 3 or more cavities 50% 50%
- Has 2 cavities 10% 10%
- Has 1 cavity 20% 20%
- Have lost 3 or more teeth 20% 20%
- Have lost 2 teeth 20% 20%
- Have lost 1 tooth 30% 30%
- Have periodontal disease and untreated tooth decay 80% 80%
It is estimated that 1 in 10 will have a substance addictions in their lifetime
Malnutrition and oral health challenges are widespread challenges among people with substance addictions. These challenges are reflected in the statistics below from Oslo, Norway. Despite being widely considered as a role-model for national welfare, nutrition and oral health remains a challenge among people with substance addiction.
Average teeth: 17 (of 32)
Drug abuse is highly correlated to teeth and gum diseases. People with substance addictions often struggle to maintain dental health due to an unstable life situation and low motivation. Many substances also cause dry mouth and teeth grinding. Generally, there is a high prevalence of dental issues, with high degrees of caries, periodontal diseases, and tooth loss Karlsen, L.S., Wang, N.J., Jansson, H. and Ansteinsson, V., 2017. Tannhelse og oral helserelatert livskvalitet hos et utvalg rusmiddelmisbrukere i Norge (Dental health and oral health-related quality of life in a selection of people with substance use disorders in Norway). Nor Tannlegeforen Tid, 127, pp.316-21.
- Say that dental issues have a severe influence on their self-perception and confidence. 67% 67%
- Has dental problems to the point where they struggle to eat normally 33% 33%
Vitamin deficiencies compromise immunity and increase risk of infections
- has severe vitamin deficiencies 75% 75%
- regularly goes several days without eating 60% 60%
Why is there a need for new solutions?
- Costly to provide
- Lacking storage & cooking facilities
- Perishes quickly
The WHO notes that people living off food rations are at high risk of malnutrition. Practical and financial constraints results in supplies which primarily consists of nutritionally poor foods, such as dehydrated food packs, tinned food, white bread & rice.
- Not used habitually in practise
- Must be distributed by medical staff in many contexts
- Not always effectively absorbed in the gut
Vitamin tablets is a good solution in theory, but is not used habitually in practise. For groups where malnutrition is caused by substance abuse or gut diseases, these may not be absorbed adequately in the gut.
- Low motivation
- Irregular use in practise
- Poor sanitary infrastructure
- Limited storage facilities
People in difficult circumstances often find themselves with little energy and motivation to brush their teeth regularly. For displaced or homeless populations, this is also made difficult by lacking sanitary and storage facilities.
Vitaegum provides institutions and NGOs a new tool for tackling these challenges
9 vitamins and minerals
The gum addresses prevalent vitamin and mineral deficiencies that are the source of some of the most common physical and mental health issues among at-risk groups.
Embraced by target population
We asked 200 refugees if they would prefer a sweet or a gum, and every single one wanted the gum. Vitaegum has been well received, and makes it easy to form a habit – a treat, not another task to do.
Oral health protection
The gum prevents caries and common gum/dental diseases, containing ingredients that kill bacteria, reduce acidity, strengthen enamel, and contribute to remineralisation.
6-week distribution to people with substance addiction
In collaboration with Evangeliesenterets food distribution contact centres, we have provided Vitaegum to 80 people over a period of 6 weeks
Distribution to 500+ refugees in Calais Refugee Camp
Working alongside Care4Calais, we distributed hundreds of pack to refugees – collecting user feedback and piloting traction in the field
Sending Vitaegum to Ukrain through the Shoe-box-appeal
11 Oxford Colleges collaborated to send supply packs to Ukrainian refugees to support them during an unstable period of displacement – Vitaegum included.
Collecting user feedback in a Beirus crisis centre
Distribution of Vitaegum. in Beirut to collect user feedback
Work with us
You may sell Vitaegum through your distribution channels to fundraise for a good cause. Whether you want to do it to get Vitaegum for an at-risk group you work with, help us provide gum to at-risk populations through other impact partners, or want to use the funds towards another good cause.
Vitaegum at low-cost
We offer Vitaegum at a low cost to NGOs and Institutions working with at-risk groups. Get in touch to get a quote based on the required volume and location. 1 pack contains 10 gums, providing a person with 10 days of 50% RDA or 5 days of 100% RDA of vitamins/minerals.
We support NGOs working with at-risk populations, but lacks the budgets to pay even at the NGO price tier. Our impact partners are NGOs that we trust and work closely with, providing them with Vitaegum when we have money to spare.