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20.11.2008 Health

GHS Launches National Oral Health Week


The government is to construct a 60-bed Hospital for the Twifo-Heman-Lower Denkyira District at Twifo Praso in the Central Region.

The 34 million dollar project has been approved by Parliament and work will soon commence.

Mr Samuel Agyeibie-Kessie, District Chief Executive (DCE), disclosed this last Tuesday, when he launched the National Oral Health Week at Praso.

He expressed the hope that the new facility will have a dental unit to cater for the oral health problems of the people.

The programme on the theme, 'Oral Health for Healthier Life', was attended by about 500 school children and students from the Twifo Praso Nursing Training School.

The DCE said poor oral health can have a detrimental effect on children's performance in school and their success later in life.

'Whilst there has been an improvement in oral health of children in the last few decades, tooth decay remains one of the most common childhood diseases in both industrialised and developing countries', he said

Mr Agyeibie-Kesse said a substantial proportion of people in many developing countries including Ghana are affected by booth decay most of which are left untreated due to limited access of oral health service, stressing the need for oral health care including immediate care and referral, health education and promotion, particularly among the underserved disadvantaged population groups.

The government, he said, has through the Ghana Dentist Project, provided 21 new modern dental clinics throughout the country to improve access to oral health services.

Ms Constance Addo-Yobo, Chief Dental Officer of the Ghana Health Service appealed to school children to avail themselves for screening and treatment where necessary, saying 'teeth are for life and they could maintain it to old age if they brushed and cleaned them twice daily with purity tooth paste'.

They should also reduce their sugar intake in between meals and visit the dentist at least once every year.

Mr Wilberforce Adade, District Director of Health, in a welcoming address, said the district has four health centres and three private clinics, and that none of these facilities render oral health services.

He said the mouth or the oral cavity is one of the most used organs of the body but hardly serviced apart from 'pasting haphazardly in the morning.'

Mr Adade appealed to the Chief Dental Officer as a matter of urgency to establish a dental unit at the District Hospital and also make use of the expertise and knowledge of the Dental Team to improve on oral care.

During the week-long programme the Dental Team will visit Frami Ati Morkwa, Kayireku, Wamaso Nuamakrom, Binponegya, Jukwa Heman and Praso, all in the Twifo-Hemang Lower Denkyira district, to screen people and offer free oral healthcare.