Ben Ochieng’ NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s ministry of health in
conjunction with industry partners on Monday launched a
month long campaign to combat oral diseases that have
worsened against a backdrop of healthcare personnel
deficit and changing dietary habits.
said the nationwide campaign will sensitize the public
on proper hygiene and regular checkups to curb spread of
bacterial diseases that affects the mouth.
government has adopted innovative measures to reduce the
burden of oral diseases that have escalated against a
backdrop of poor hygiene and inadequate dentists in
public health facilities,” remarked the Deputy Head of
Oral Unit in the Ministry of Health, Dr Miriam Mureithi.
Oral Health Survey that was conducted recently indicated
Kenya has one dentist per 42,000 patients, which falls
short of the recommended ratio of one dentist per 7,000
patients by the World Health Organization (WHO).
said the government has prioritized training of dentists
to help deal with personnel gaps in public health
facilities where poor citizens affected by oral diseases
developing the national health care policy that will
spell the scope of work for dentists and eliminate
quacks who have undermined provision of quality oral
health services in the country,” said Mureithi.
disclosed that out of the 1,400 dentists working in the
country, only 500 work in the public service, with only
25 percent of the total population having access to
said that most health facilities in the country lack
modern infrastructure to deal with oral diseases.
that the majority of dental laboratories are poorly
equipped and facilities lack sufficient commodities.
said the common dental ailments in the country are tooth
decay, gum diseases, dental caries, dental fluorosis and
maxillofacial trauma (interpersonal violence that cause
injuries to head, mouth and neck).
On his part,
the national secretary of the Kenya Dental Association,
Dr. Tim Theuri, said dentistry is a capital-intensive
venture, adding that oral diseases are the most
expensive to treat.
procedures are so expensive because they are performed
by highly trained professionals who practice with
expensive equipment who must carry a large amount of
malpractice insurance to operate,” said Theuri.
of Dental Sciences at the University of Nairobi,
Professor Louise Gathece, said that about 95 percent of
Kenyans do not know how to correctly brush their teeth.
other illnesses, dental diseases are 100 percent
preventable. Oral care is a lifetime commitment and
requires effort. By accessing right information and
tools and including them in daily routine, one can
reduce chances of getting oral disease,” Gathece
health campaign, which was started in 2012, aims at
teaching families about the importance of proper oral