Govt takes oral health pro­ject to ru­ral ar­eas

The Myanmar Times - - News - MYINT KAY THI my­in­tkaythi@mm­times.com

HEALTH of­fi­cials will ex­tend the Pri­mary Oral Health Care Pro­ject to ru­ral ar­eas to pro­mote aware­ness on the im­por­tance of good den­tal prac­tice be­cause tooth de­cay and gum dis­ease are high in Myan­mar.

Dr Win Zaw, as­sis­tant direc­tor, De­part­ment of Med­i­cal Ser­vices (Den­tal Health), told The Myan­mar Times that de­part­ment will be im­ple­mented in some 103 town­ships and next year it will be ex­tended to more town­ships.

“The re­sult of the sur­vey (Myan­mar Na­tional Oral Health Sur­vey) shows that we need to do more for oral health ed­u­ca­tion, es­pe­cially in ru­ral ar­eas. Sur­vey shows den­tal and gum dis­ease are high among the public.

“Peo­ple don’t care about oral health prac­tices. They don’t re­gard den­tal caries (tooth de­cay) and gum prob­lems as dis­eases,” said Dr Win Zaw.

The na­tion­wide sur­vey which was con­ducted in 21 town­ships in var­i­ous re­gions and states in 2016 and the re­sults was made avail­able in Jan­uary this year.

Dr Win Zaw said the den­tal pro­gram was im­ple­mented since 1994 but was not very ef­fec­tive due to hu­man re­sources and bud­get con­straints in the past.

“Now, min­istry is try­ing to ful­fill the short­age of hu­man re­sources and the de­part­ment is try­ing to cover all town­ships,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Health and Sports, the De­part­ment of Public Health had ap­pointed over 200 den­tists and 415 den­tists in the De­part­ment of Med­i­cal Ser­vices, and an­other 140 new den­tists are be­ing trained at the Civil Ser­vice Academy.

Ko Phyo, 24, a ven­dor from Kyauk­tada town­ship said, “I lost four teeth due to de­cay. My fam­ily is from a vil­lage in Khayan town­ship, and when I was young we don’t care about oral health. I suf­fer ter­ri­bly when I ate sweet foods.”

The most com­mon oral health prob­lems in Myan­mar are den­tal caries, gin­gi­val and pe­ri­odon­tal dis­ease (gum dis­ease) and oral can­cer.

Dr Myint Htain, gen­eral sec­re­tary of Myan­mar Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion, said that in ur­ban ar­eas tooth de­cay is high, and in ru­ral ar­eas gum dis­ease are com­mon be­cause peo­ple don’t care of their diet and oral hy­giene.

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