FJDC celebrates World Oral Health Day


Dr. Hussain Askary, Head, Department of Dental Public Health, during the World Oral Health Day announced that the Fatima Jinnah Dental Hospital located in Azam Town, will provide dental treatment to five thousand school children free of cost. The Fatima Jinnah Dental College (FJDC), established in 1992, is a pioneer in dental health care, besides producing over a thousand dental graduates. FJDC well known for providing quality treatment on cost to cost basis. Dr Askary, who addressed over 200 dentists who had gathered at the ceremony saying that communities around the world have been celebrating World Oral Health Day since FDI World Dental Federation decided to create the special celebratory day and offered the dental and oral health community a platform to highlight various issues of oral health and to take collective actions to address them. Dr Askaryurged those presents to realize that one third of Pakistan’s population lives below the poverty line and the nation is overwhelmed by the disease burden. Decay and loss of teeth, gum problems and now the very common mouth cancers are taxing the wellbeing of the population. Under the economic condition of Pakistan as it is present the masses will not be able to get dental care from the private practitioners, nor will it be a priority for the Government to arrange spending any more. Thus the only solution is to focus on prevention through community efforts. Creating awareness and inculcating oral health and hygiene consciousness among the public is a very huge challenge, especially when large majority of them cannot read or write. Thus, out of the only option left as to develop very innovative methods of health promotion, at grass root level imported by widespread campaigning on electronic media, can do the job. Another approach is to focus on children, as 35% of Pakistan’s population is under 15. Any effort made to install oral hygiene and other healthy habits can ensure strong and disease free dentition for life. Schools, colleges and madrassas are very convenient community settings for such activities. More over introducing oral and general health related topic to their curriculum and involving teachers and students in fun filled health promoting activities have proven to bring about very positive behavior changes. Communities around the globe have been celebrating World Oral Health Day since 2008. The day was proposed in the Annual World Dental Congress (AWDC 2007) in Dubai whereas the existing date was 12th September, corresponding to the birthday of Charles Godon (Founder of World Dental Federation). FDI recently implemented the date agreed in 2007 to March 20th. The purpose of this is to provide a platform to the dental and oral health care professionals to work collaboratively in-order to prevent caries epidemics, gum diseases and tooth loss and also to help communities to maintain a healthy/solid dentition for life. This year communities around the globe celebrated World Oral Health Day on 20th of March. It seems that less importance has been paid to promoting it than it deserved. However, different activities were reported to be organized by dental associations. Oral Health America (OHA) joined Listerine brand to promote oral health care among American children. On the other hand European Union Parliament organized a high level roundtable conference to discuss the oral health policies and estimated €39 billion to be spend by 2020 in-order to improve oral health. Similar news has been reported from the Canadian and Australian dental health organizations focusing on data collection system, prevention and education policies. However, it seems that developing world has put paid negligible emphasis to this global day. Fatima Jinnah Dental College under the guidance of Dr. Hussain Askary has adopted 10 schools where they carry out regular dental screenings, awareness programs and teachers training in health promotion. They also have set up dental clinics within two of these schools. Last year they provided dental screening to over eight thousand school children. The Fatima Jinnah Dental Hospital at Azam Town provides free treatment to these school children during summer and winter vacations. When asked Dr. Hussain Askary informed that Dental Public Health is a field which has been neglected in Pakistan. Recently many doctors are showing interest in this field. Dr. Askary informed that he received his training from UK during his postgradation studies and since his return to Pakistan in 2009 he has been spreading his expertise by teaching and training from various platforms.

May 16, 2013

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