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Tufts Public Health

Sending Oral Health to the Middle East

Box for Health, the nonprofit company launched by Omar Harmouche, D21, MG21 (MPH), and Alia Osseiran, D22, has already reached more than 4,200 Lebanese children.
Thursday, February 11, 2021

A couple of years ago, dental students Omar Harmouche and Alia Osseiran set out to develop a way to teach children in Lebanon, a country where they each have family ties, about oral hygiene and other healthy habits. Since then, the Middle Eastern country has faced political unrest, a deadly explosion at the port of Beirut, and, like the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic. All of which might serve to derail a long-distance public-health effort.

Yet Box for Health, the nonprofit company launched by Harmouche, D21, MG21 (MPH), and Osseiran, D22, has already reached more than 4,200 Lebanese youngsters—four times their goal—with original oral-health curricula and sustainable dental products. They have partnered with a half-dozen NGOs, received mentorship from the Clinton Global Initiative University and Tufts Venture Accelerator, set up a Shopify store to generate funding, and nurtured a devoted cadre of interns and volunteers.

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