Concerned Union Health Ministry Plan Oral Health Policy

by March 31, 2018 0 comments

The government, concerned with the current oral hygiene in the country, is planning an oral health policy. This policy is said to focus exclusively on promoting dental health. It will also focus on treatment and prevention of major dental health issues in the country.

This is for the first time that the Union Health Ministry is mulling to have a firmer and more resolute national oral health policy. It will envisage oral health promotion through prevention; to decrease the burden of oral diseases, to eradicate taboos, myths or misconceptions, to narrow the rural-urban gap in oral healthcare; to organise a data recording system, for quality dental education; and definite budget allocation for oral health as in developed countries.

A senior official from the Ministry  said that oral diseases have remained a health problem for developed countries and a burden for developing countries like India, especially among the rural population.

It is being felt that to reduce the morbidity of the oral-related diseases, not much work has been done till date. The National Oral Healthcare Programme, which was launched just a few years ago, has not been able to deliver and there has been a rise in dental diseases. A committee comprising experts from the sector has been constituted to formulate the policy.

The official said that the policy will  primarily focus on oral health promotion through prevention, considering the fact that oral diseases are preventable by simple and cost effective means. The  policy will focus on way to decrease the burden of oral diseases, eradicate taboos, myths or misconceptions besides water fluoridation, one of the preventive measures for dental caries.

The committee is also likely to look in the issues of  inaccessibility, non-affordability of oral healthcare services and deficiency of dental manpower in PHCs and how to  narrow the rural-urban gap in oral healthcare. India is ahead in the world with 301 dental colleges, 25,270 Bachelor of dental surgeons and 5014 Master of dental surgeon positions. Even with this unrestricted growth of dental colleges from decades, oral health progress in the country has not met expectations, the officer said.

It is estimated that about 50 per cent  of school children are suffering from dental issues and more than 90 per cent of the adult population is affected by periodontal diseases.

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Writer: Archana Jyoti

Courtesy: The Pioneer

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