Lagos to introduce preventive dental health care
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday unfolded plans to introduce preventive dental care programme in its Primary Health Care Centres from October starting with two Primary Health Care Centres.
Speaking during a joint World Press Conference held at Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa to mark the 2012 World Oral Heath Day, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Yewande Adeshina said the programme will start at the Iga Idunganran Primary Health Centre in Lagos Island and the Rauf Aregbesola Primary Health Centre in Mosan- Okunola Local Council Development Area and would subsequently cascade to other flagship Primary Health Centres in the State.
She also spoke of plans by the State Government to write its name in the Guinness Book of Records by congregating 300,000 adolescent students at different locations to simultaneously engage in a tooth brushing challenge.
Mrs Adeshina added that the challenge is aimed at improving the attitude of Nigerians to oral health, stating: “We came up with this idea because we are convinced that a preventive educational approach is more effective in terms of costs and outcome than the traditional curative approach we presently practice”.
“This project does not just aim at breaking the world record but to provide vital health information to adolescents while providing a research line for future oral health planning”, Mrs Adeshina added.
She added that the State Government is committed to encouraging Lagosians to take dental hygiene seriously as the mouth if not well taken care of can lead to diseases including heart diseases.
The Special Adviser congratulated the children on the imminent history they are about to record for the state and the nation.
Also speaking on the initiative, the Project Head of the World Record Tooth Brushing challenge, Bakare Lawal said the World Tooth brushing challenge was designed and implemented by some young dental professionals with support from Lagos State Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Dental Association.
He explained that 300,000 students drawn from about 300 schools in the State having not less than 1000 students have been identified by Ministry of Education officials for the exercise.
“It is a school based oral health intervention programme which will culminate in a world record attempt for the number of people tooth brushing simultaneously at multiple locations”.
“At noon on December 5, 2012, we hope to lead over 300,000 adolescents in brushing their teeth at multiple locations for a single glorious minute. In that moment in time united across differences in background and opportunity, they will create a world record and a memory to treasure for the rest of their lives”, Mr Lawal added.
He explained that the world record can also do more such as acting as a central point to galvanise the attention of all stakeholders for oral health to focus on the nation’s lingering oral health challenges with the future in mind.
Mr Lawal said the choice of adolescents in schools was informed by the belief that the adolescents are in a stage where new behaviours emerge and such behaviours may likely be taken into the adult life.
In a message of goodwill, the Chairman of the State chapter of the Nigerian Dental Association, Lola Agbaje said the world record tooth brushing challenge is an opportunity for oral health to be brought to the forefront for Lagos State and Nigeria.
She emphasized the need for everyone to visit a dentist regularly or at least twice in a year, adding that dental centres are available in public hospitals nationwide for the people to make use of.
The Press Conference was attended by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Hakeem Bello and school children drawn from different secondary schools in the State.