IN-SCHOOL dental visits in the National Capital District have been re-introduced to do checks on the oral health of students.
Dr Naomi Asing, community dentist at the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH), said that during a visit to Hagara Primary School in Port Moresby on Friday.
She said the Papua New Guinea Dental Association, consisting of members from the University of PNG dentistry division and PMGH Dental Clinic, with intern residential doctors and undergraduate dentists were reviving in-school dental visits to do checks on student’s oral health and to collect statistical baseline data for record keeping and research.
“The dental school visit programme started on Oct 10, with a visit to Butuka Academy School, then to Koki Primary School and ended with Hagara Primary School,” Dr Asin said.
She said the last dental school visit programme was done in the 1990s. Dr Yvonne Golpak, academic staff and pediatric dentist at UPNG said about 90 per cent of students from the three schools that they visited had never been to a dentist and this was their first exposure to dental healthcare. “Children are capable of adapting better oral habits like brushing their teeth and therefore, the targeted ages for this programme are students of eight to nine years for oral health checkups and 12 years for questionnaires and responses,” she said.
Golpak and Asing said this was the beginning of the re-introduction of in-school dental visits and following a five-year plan which would try to cover Port Moresby and then branch out to other parts of the country.
The National / PNG Health Watch
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