By Fasilat Lawal

Stakeholders in the country have been urged to support the drive toward reducing Oral health diseases to their barest minimum.

Oyo state Commissioner for Health, Dr Taiwo Oladipo made the call at the World Oral Day Celebration at St. Michael Catholic Primary School, Yemutu, Ibadan.

Represented by the Director of Public Health in the ministry, Dr Olusoji Adeyanju, Dr Oladipo who gave global statistics of people affected by oral diseases by the World Health Organization, WHO, said the disease had become a challenge, prompting the State to focus on a free health mission carried out across the 33 local government areas of the state to both young and old.

 “In the last two years, Governor Seyi Makinde has directed that dentists should join state health mission and they have joined, “he said.

He appealed to the Nigeria Dental Association of Nigeria, Oyo state chapter to partner with the ministry in offering free healthcare services to students in the state.

In an address of welcome, the Chairman, of Nigeria Dental Association, Oyo State Chapter, Dr Fechi Nkwocha described the high level of Oral diseases in Africa as alarming, especially, in the rural areas, attributing it to a lack of good health facilities.

“Many areas don’t have access to good facilities and we have a few medical practitioners, having one doctor attending to 54,000 patients.”

 “We won’t be able to achieve optimal care for such people, so we need the government and other agencies to involve in training Dental and Oral Health specialist care to reach out to these people.”

“ If they don’t have access to quality medical care, they won’t be able to practice preventive measures, and also have little or no knowledge about how to apply correct toothpaste, correct brushes and correct instrument “she added.

Dr Nkwocha however urged parents and guardians to give adequate care and attention to the teeth of their wards from the beginning, especially, the infants, as they start growing teeth from six months.

 “the moment you observe teeth on the gum, it is time to start cleaning the mouth two times a day with fluoride toothpaste, put a little of the paste in your finger and spread it around their teeth, initially, they will resist but, they will get used to it”.

The Head Teacher of IMG N 4 Basic School Yemutu, Mrs Akintayo Olubisi, who spoke on behalf of their colleagues, expressed happiness about the free health care embarked in the school and noted that it would enable the students to take proper care of the Oral Health.

Highlights of the event included free medical and dental checks for students in the school.

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