NATION

Campaign Pushes For Healthy Teeth

The National Oral Health Week was launched last Friday in Lomaloma, Vanuabalavu by the Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Alex O’Connor. Mr O’Connor said the theme 5:20 captures
07 Jun 2017 15:39
Campaign Pushes For Healthy Teeth
Assistant Health Minister Alex O’Connor (with garland), with Lomaloma villagers during the launch of the National Oral Health week. Photo: Ministry of Health and Medical Services

The National Oral Health Week was launched last Friday in Lomaloma, Vanuabalavu by the Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Alex O’Connor.

Mr O’Connor said the theme 5:20 captures the Oral Health Division’s aim of ensuring that by the age of five years, children should have 20 healthy primary (milk) teeth free of caries and fillings.

National Advisor Non-Communicable Disease, Dr Isimeli Tukana, stated that the Oral Health Department is the first Department to achieve the Lifetime Concept of the Wellness Matrix whereby the seven age group categories, from the womb to old age, have been addressed through the following programmes:

Antenatal Care (ANC) Mothers [from conception to nine months]: development of the ANC Oral Health Card;

1-year-old to 5-years-old: Maternal Child Health (MCH)  Card including an Oral Health component, Mum You First and Healthy 5:20 Smile for Kindergartens;

6-years-old to 12-years-old: six-year-olds made caries free; 12-year-olds made dentally fit and another Colgate Palmolive promotion Bright Smiles Bright Future;

13-years-old – 19-years-old: Your Smile Matters; and

20-years-old – old age: Community Oral Health Care Package.

Mr O’Connor said in Fiji, most five-year-olds do not achieve this milestone of 20 healthy teeth and it has been a great concern.

“The last oral health survey revealed that 88.3 per cent of six-year-olds had dental caries of which 85.2 per cent were active and not treated. So, the initial focus that time was on ‘5:20’ and it reflects the importance of significantly addressing good oral health practices very early in life,” Mr O’Connor said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj


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