Oral health important for general health: Haufiku

12 Sep 2016 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 12 SEP (NAMPA) - Minister of Health and Social Services Bernard Haufiku on Monday officially opened the week-long commemoration of Namibia’s Oral Health Day, saying oral health should be seen as a serious concern.
This year’s commemoration is being held from 12 until 16 September to allow people living in rural and remote areas to be included in the national campaign and services provided during the week.
Speaking during the official opening, Haufiku said oral health should be seen as a serious concern as many health complications are based on unhealthy mouths with oral decay, misaligned teeth or oral cancer. He said such situations erode the overall wellbeing of a person and most people have or will suffer oral health issues.
“Almost 90 per cent of the global population will suffer one or more oral health issues or diseases. That literally means that nine out of 10 people will have or have had oral problems.”
He said about 60 to 90 per cent of school going children are at risk of oral decay, which not only affects their general health, but also productivity.
“To prevent this, the public must be educated on oral health. From Early Childhood Development to primary schools, secondary schools and even at our universities.”
Mobile health officials with three mobile dental clinics will during the course of the week visit some of Namibia’s remote areas in all regions, where a wide range of services such as emergency treatment, education on oral health’s importance, and dental inspections and screenings will be provided.
Haufiku said according to the 2010/2011 National Oral Health Baseline Survey, about 40 per cent of Namibian children older than 12 years and adults older than 65 have experienced tooth decay, with about 74 per cent of cases often untreated.
The theme for this year’s event is 'It starts here. A healthy mouth, a healthy body' in the light of World Oral Health Day that is annually commemorated on 20 March by the World Dental Federation.