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20.07.2002 General News

Mobile dental vans for districts

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THE Government has ordered mobile dental vans to serve the oral health needs of residents in the districts and deprived communities in the country. The vans are expected to arrive in the country next month.

The Minister of Health, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, who announced this at the launching of the 2002 National Oral Health Awareness Week in Sekondi, yesterday expressed regret that many Ghanaians are denied basic dental services because of limited facilities and personnel.

He said it is to address the limited facilities and personnel that the ministry has trained middle level oral health workers at the Kintampo Rural Health Training School.

He said products of the school will pass out in October this year and they will be sent to district and health centres to treat minor and oral diseases.

He pointed out that the trained oral health workers will work closely with community health officers to educate residents on oral health.

The minister further stated that school health co-ordinators and public and community health nurses will also be trained to enable them perform dental inspections and promote dental health education to school children.

According to Dr Afriyie, his ministry is providing equipment to disinfect and sterilise instruments that are used for dental treatment.

He explained that the measure is to reduce infection.

The minister expressed confidence that oral health services will be provided for under the proposed National Health Insurance Scheme.

He, however, called on the private sector and Ghanaians to support the government to improve oral health services in the country.

The Deputy Western Regional Minister, Ms Sophia Horner-Sam, said oral health has received little attention in the country.

She said many people are losing their teeth as a result of preventable oral diseases.

She noted that such diseases are caused by poor dietary habits and lack of education.

She stressed that the theme for the occasion, “Clean your teeth well twice a day” is timely and relevant.

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