Fluoride Action Network

The Borrow Foundation

Source: From the website of The Borrow Foundation | January 11th, 2022
Note from Fluoride Action Network:
As of March 18, 2022, the British Fluoridation Society states on its website, https://bfsweb.org/support-of-fluoridation/ :
“The British Fluoridation Society is very grateful to The Borrow Foundation (http://www.borrowfoundation.org/) for their support.”

The following is from the website of The Borrow Foundation as of January 1, 2022:

About us

The Borrow Foundation was established in 1971. It is a grant making charity, a not-for-profit organisation, based in the UK.

Our mission is to promote the improvement of oral health, primarily in children, through the prevention of oral diseases.

Our work is expanding; the number of countries in which our grants are applied continues to grow.

The Foundation is politically and financially independent.

The trustees of the Foundation are:

Professor Andrew Rugg-Gunn (Chair)
Dr Nigel Thomas
Professor Christina Stecksén-Blicks
Mr Nigel Borrow

Our history

Our founder Dr Edgar Borrow (1902 – 1990) was a farmer and mechanical engineer who resided in Southern England. He served on local and regional councils at a time when the need for community water fluoridation was being debated at great length. Combining his engineering skills with his experience gained from dairy farming, he began to explore the possibilities of fluoridating milk.  He thought that school milk programmes might be used as an alternative vehicle for the delivery of fluoride to children in communities where the fluoridation of water supplies was not possible. Having discovered that studies in this field had been undertaken in the 1950s and 1960s and that the results of this work had been encouraging, in 1971 he established the Foundation.

For many years milk fluoridation remained the charity’s core interest. During this time grants were provided for the conduct of extensive research and the implementation and evaluation of community-based programmes.

Whilst the use of fluorides in oral health remains a priority for the Foundation, more recently the charity has extended its support towards other approaches to oral disease prevention. This has led to considerable expansion in the charity’s activities.

*Online as of January 1, 2022, at https://www.borrowfoundation.org/about-us

Our work

We provide grants to leading health agencies, government bodies, academic institutes, dental associations, and charities. These are being applied in many parts of the world to help improve oral health, primarily in children, through the prevention of oral diseases.

Our work is expanding with direct support for programmes / projects carried out in 18 countries. This includes grants awarded for the implementation and evaluation of population-based programmes. Our funding has also been applied to the conduct of oral health surveys, the results of which have informed the review and development of oral health policies and strategies.

Support for clinical, laboratory, and population research remains a priority for the charity with a number of grants being made to leading academic institutes. An element of research is also considered an essential aspect of the population-based programmes that we support.

Indirectly, our resources are reaching numerous other countries. For example, we make contributions towards the vital work being carried out by leading agencies / organisations, at both global and regional levels.

We provide sponsorship for regional and international meetings that share knowledge and experience in seeking to address key oral health issues.

Support for dental associations that promote dental public health and oral health research, provides greater access to these organisations and their activities, particularly for those working in emerging economies.

*Online at https://www.borrowfoundation.org/our-work

Population-based programmes

Grants are provided to facilitate the implementation and evaluation of population-based programmes; details can be found here.  These are awarded primarily to ministries of health and education, although such grants are also made to academic institutes and other charities working in this field.

Funding has been applied to help strengthen existing interventions and facilitate the development of new schemes. Most of these programmes have been delivered through schools or kindergartens.

In making their funding decisions, the trustees give priority to low- and middle-income countries. Sustainability and the potential for reducing inequalities are also key considerations.

We continue to extend our support for health needs assessments. In particular, we fund oral health surveys that inform the review and development of oral health policies and strategies. Importantly, to date these have been carried out by, or with the endorsement of, ministries of health.

We would be pleased to hear from anyone who may be interested in applying for a grant.

Grant application form

*Online at https://www.borrowfoundation.org/our-work

Funding opportunities

Examples of the work we support can be found on this site. The charity’s funding priorities are outlined below, although we are always open to new and innovative ideas that could help improve oral health through the prevention of oral diseases.

Our priorities include:

  • Population-based programmes that are targeted at the areas of greatest need and will help reduce inequalities, within and between countries
  • Health needs assessments, particularly where surveys are used to inform the review and development of oral health policies / strategies
  • Research focused on the improvement of population oral health through the prevention of oral diseases

We are particularly interested in:

  • The use of fluorides in the prevention of dental caries, including their use in milk and milk products
  • The prevention of oral disease through the improvement of diet and nutrition
  • The use of kindergarten and school settings to promote oral health
  • Preventing early childhood caries
  • Strengthening the design of studies for the evaluation of community-based programmes
  • Training and education.

Grant application form 

Scoping Review of Upstream Interventions

A grant has been provided to UCL to undertake a ‘Scoping Review of Upstream Interventions to Promote Oral Health and Reduce Oral Health Inequalities’.

Over the last 10-15 years various effectiveness reviews of the oral health literature have identified the limitations of solely adopting individual/clinical preventive (downstream) interventions in addressing the global burden of oral diseases and in reducing the stark oral health inequalities that persist across the world[1].  Health education interventions traditionally used to promote oral health may not be appropriate for reducing oral health inequalities and indeed may in fact widen inequalities, rather than reduce them[2] A broad consensus now exists that there is a need for a complementary combination of downstream, midstream, and upstream interventions to be implemented to effectively prevent oral diseases and promote greater oral health equity.

This scoping review will address this knowledge gap by identifying, reviewing, and summarising the available global evidence of the effect of upstream policy interventions on oral health and oral health inequalities. The review findings will inform future policy development.  The proposed work will be linked to the on-going Lancet Commission on Oral Health which includes an oral health inequalities workstream and the findings will be highlighted in the forthcoming Lancet Commission report.

[1] (Kay and Locker 1996; Watt and Marinho 2005; Harris et al 2012).

[2] (NICE 2007; Schou and Wight 1994; Qadri et al., 2018).