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Dental Association Calls For Fresh Oral Health Survey, Data

Dental Association Calls For Fresh Oral Health Survey, Data
Participants of the Fiji Dental Association annual conference at the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa, in Port Denarau, Nadi, on August 4, 2018. Photo: Peni Komaisavai
August 05
11:15 2018

Fiji Dental Association (FDA) President Dr Vikash Singh says practitioners need more data and Fijians must know the links between oral health and good general health.

“You know we can talk about Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and all the other diseases that are fast becoming a major concern, but people must know that oral health is not isolated from that because it is a part of that,” Dr Singh said.

He was speaking on what he called the misunderstanding and misconception that people had regarding the importance of oral health and its relationship with a person’s general overall health.

Dr Singh made the comments at the start of the two-day Fiji Dental Association annual conference at the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa on Denarau.   

He said the most unfortunate thing in terms of oral health was that there was no survey done in terms of keeping records of prevalent cases in Fiji.

“It is the most common disease to have affected people, but unfortunately there has been no national survey done since 2004, for the past 14-years to rely on,” he said.

Dr Singh said he had been raising this matter with the Ministry of Health in his capacity as the president of FDA.

“We need that data so we can gauge the extent of the prevalent oral health diseases that we were up against and how often it occurred throughout Fiji,” he said.

“We need that oral health data survey. It is about time that we have one so that we can gauge the extent of the disease in the country.”

Life threatening

Dr Singh said there had been a prevalent feeling of neglect in terms of taking care of one’s oral health conditions.

He said people often approached or addressed it with a trivial attitude.

“People think that dental conditions are not life threatening, but they are very mistaken because dental care should not only be seen in terms of what impacts it makes on an individual’s overall welfare, but it is important to note that good oral health improves a person’s quality of life,” Dr Singh said.

He said this was a matter of concern.

Dr Singh said there was an urgent need for such data.

“This is so that we can prioritise and plan oral health care, because once we know the prevalent diseases, where it is coming from and what is the implications,” he said.

“You cannot plan and deliver with no data.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  peni.komaisavai@fijisun.com.fj

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