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Health News of Friday, 10 December 2010

Source: GNA

Access to quality dental healthcare, a developmental challenge- Expert

Takoradi, Dec. 10, GNA - Dr Constance Addo-Yobo, Chief Dental Officer of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) said on Thursday that despite the increasing levels of oral diseases, access to dental care remained one biggest challenge in the country.

She said 43 out of the 170 districts in the country, could boost of dental facilities adding: "Clearly infrastructural development, equipment and human resource needs for expanding coverage and improving quality oral health cannot be underestimated."

Dr Addo-Yobo who was speaking at the National launch of the annual Oral Health Celebration in Takoradi in the Western Region said oral health services was a basic indicator of a country's level of development. The month- long oral health celebration on the theme: "Oral Health Care for the Family; The Role of Parents," was aimed at encouraging parents and caregivers to inculcate oral health practice in their children particularly those under seven.

"Tooth brushing must start from infancy and parents must be prepared and encouraged to brush their children's teeth and inculcate the habit in them," she added. Dr Addo-Yobo said the service had adopted outreach services as an effective interim measure to deal with the problem of low coverage and quality oral health. Ms Betty Bosomtwi-Sam, Deputy Regional Minister said oral health was an integral part of general health and well being and as such the health of individual families contributed immensely to the overall health of the society.

She said reports indicated that one out of every four children in the country had either lost a tooth due to tooth decay or had a decayed tooth while 80 per cent of school children had poor oral health. "This is why parents must adopt good habit of regular oral health checkups on their children," she said. Ms Bosomtwi-Sam said government would soon provide dental facilities in every district in the country to improve the rather sad statistics, adding: "Within the next five years, every district in the country will have a state-of-the-art oral health facility."