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World Oral Health Day: Health Ministry Calls For Adequate Sensitisation On Nigerians

By Obiabin Onukwugha

The Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has called for adequate sensitisation on Nigerians on the importance of oral health.

The ministry made the call in a statement to commemorate the World Oral Health Day marked March 20th esch year.

The Ministry in the ststement published on its verified X handle on Tuesday, noted that oral diseases negatively impact people throughout their lives.

It pointed out that the Ministry in its commitment to revamping Nigeria’s health system through a multisectoral approach, continues to address various health issues including the provision of affordable accessible and qualitative Oral Healthcare.

It said: “The Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in its commitment to revamping Nigeria’s health system through a multisectoral approach, continues to address various health issues including the provision of affordable accessible and qualitative Oral Healthcare.

“In 2012 the Ministry launched the country’s first National Oral Health Policy. This policy was also revised in 2023 following evidence-based research which showed a rising prevalence and burden of oral health in the country.

“Oral diseases lead to pain and discomfort, social isolation and loss of self-confidence, and they are often linked to other serious health issues. However, there is no reason to suffer as most oral health conditions are largely preventable and can be treated in their early stages.

It said the estimated global burden on oral disease is about 3.5 billion people as at 2019. The ministry observed that only few Nigerians prioritise their oral health, pointing Oral Health goes beyond healthy teeth and the absence of disease.

“The Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 estimated that oral diseases affect close to 3.5 billion people worldwide, with caries of permanent teeth being the most common condition.

“Besides regular teeth brushing, only a handful of Nigerians prioritise oral health, except in severe conditions such as pain or discomfort. Even then, some prefer to numb the pain with home remedies and painkillers at best only seeking professional help as a last resort.

“Oral Health means more than healthy teeth and the absence of disease. It is the well-being of the oral cavity including the dentition and its supporting structures.

“Furthermore, Oral health depends on many factors including genetic and environmental predisposition for disease, nutrition and dietary practices, oral self-care behaviours, health beliefs, socio-economic status as well as dental care.

“The mouth is the gateway to the body and the fact that many systemic diseases (such as Anaemia, Leukaemia, Diabetes mellitus, Osteoporosis, fluorosis and even HIV infection) present with oral manifestations shows that the mouth is the mirror of the entire body making oral health much more than just caring for your teeth.

“The world oral health day is globally observed and celebrated annually on the 20th of march to raise global awareness on the importance of oral health in promoting good oral hygiene to reduce the burden of oral diseases which affects individuals, health systems and the economy by extension.

“Today as we join the rest of the world to commemorate #WOHD24, we call on all critical stakeholders, media and individuals to help create awareness of oral health,” the statement read.

 

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