Govt takes oral health project to rural areas
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.