Islamabad: World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is celebrated globally on 20th March each year, comprising of wide range of activities to; raise awareness regarding the importance of oral health, celebrate the benefits of a happy healthy mouth, help reduce the burden of oral diseases and to promote worldwide health related issues. “Say Ahh”, a phrase commonly used by dentists while examining their patients, was the theme announced by FDI for years 2018-2020.
According to a survey from World Fact book (2012); The health and social sector of Pakistan is one of the most mistreated sectors in the country due to various geo-political factors; such as economy, poverty, illiteracy, general health issues, that account for neglect by policy makers for oral health related issues. Creating awareness among general public is the key for revolutionizing concepts of oral health, as well as acknowledgement of gaps by dental professionals and motivation of higher management and stakeholders to produce quality dental personnel, adequate dentist to patient ratio, and provision of quality dental services.
International College of Dentistry (ICD) Pakistan chapter, took initiative to reduce obstacles in the path of oral health promotion and celebrated WOHD on a grand scale, in collaboration with HBS Dental College, Dental News and Shield Company.
This WOHD Program was organized under the supervision of Prof.Dr. Arshad Mehmood Malik, bringing his vision to life. Program in charge, Dr. Qurat-ul-Ain (Assistant Professor, HOD Community Dentistry) supervised all the activities and devised the entire program at HBS Dental College. Other senior Faculty members including, Dr. Benish Aleem (Assistant Professor, HOD Oral Pathology), Dr. Sabeen Fazal (Assistant Professor, HOD Oral Biology) and Dr. Alina Mughal (Demonstrator Community Dentistry) also played vital roles in making the event beneficial for the general public and health care providers.
Subsequently, all faculty and staff members of HBS Dental College participated, arranged several activities and shared their messages with the general public related to the importance of oral health in order to spread awareness. It included free dental consultations, oral hygiene instructions with tooth brushing technique demonstrations, stalls of dental jewelry and other interesting items, food stalls with awareness of nutritional values and oral hygiene care according to food ingredients, fun activities to create awareness of dental caries.
At the end of the program, Oral Health Awareness Walk began on Lehtrar Road, HBS Dental College to Tramri Chowk Islamabad with sponsorship and support of ICD, Dental News and Shield.
Outdoor patient Diagnoses (OPD) was well organized and equipped for screening patients with ‘free sugar test(BSR)’ facility, to correlate diabetes with periodontal diseases. Up to 500 patients underwent free dental examination that day.. Free lunch boxes and juices were provided by the organizers for the needy patients. Dental goodies were distributed by the dental company Shield.
A number of children and young adults belonging to different schools and socioeconomic backgrounds, such as students from Pak-Turk School, Commodore Learning School, National Child Protection Center – Ministry of Human Rights – Government of Pakistan (NCPC), Sultana Foundation and Pakistan Sweet Home. Adults were also invited from different universities including, COMSATS.
Students, Faculty and Staff members of HBS Medical College were also screened to evaluate their oral health status.
Hence, HBS Medical College’s slogans of “Prevention is better than cure” & “Early detection of oral disease reduces burden of oral morbidity” were successfully shared and implemented for health promotion and dental education.