OUR HISTORY AND STEPS
OUR HISTORY AND STEPS
Cooperazione Odontoiatrica Internazionale – COI – was founded in May 1993 from the experience of a group of colleagues and friends that had collaborated for many years with Medicus Mundi Italia NGO, which had a specific area on dentistry.
The idea to create an autonomous and specialized association was born after realizing that the need of oral care was a reality and a right denied to millions of people.
A need that was not considered a priority and that received an inadequate answer in terms of human resources, services, performance and international cooperation projects.
Then raised the necessity to give social dentistry its correct role, by creating an organized body to ensure continuity and skills to the spontaneous commitment of many colleagues. The aim was to create for the first time an attraction pole where dentists, dental technicians, assistants, dental hygienists, but also dental businessmen, scientific associations could meet and work together, according to the old saying “Unity we stand, divided we fall”.
The most important steps of COI history:
COI starts to work in partnership with four European dental NGOs: AOI (Aide Odontologique Internationale), DHIN (Dental Health International Netherlands), OS (Odontologia Solidaria), ST (Sunnymede Trust), thus creating a European dental network.
A new challenge starts, with the creation of the European Center for Intercultural Training in Oral Health (ECITOH). ECITOH deals with the training of volunteers, dentists from low-income countries, research and intercultural exchange with the cooperation of the University of Turin.
Together with the “Caritas” charity of Rome and the WHO Collaboration Center of Milan, COI establishes the Italian Group for Access to Dental Care (GIACO), to answer the needs of dental care of the less favored communities in Italy.
The Osservatorio della salute orale delle comunità svantaggiate (Monitoring Unit on the oral health of less favored communities) is established to monitor the increasing needs of oral health among the less favored communities in Italy.
After 12 years of efforts by COI members, friends and supporters, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledges COI as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), eligible to implement International Cooperation projects and to train and send volunteers to low-income countries.
Following an agreement with the University of Turin, COI transfers its headquarters to the Dental School office of Lingotto.
In partnership with the University of Turin, COI starts the Post-graduate Master in “Oral Health in less favored communities in Italy and in low-income countries”. The Master, unique in Italy, prepares health professionals to activities of solidarity and international cooperation.