By Isaac Ukpoju
Lafia – The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Committee on Dental Health has concluded plans to offer free dental screening and treatment to more than 36,000 people across the country.
The Chairman of the committee, Dr Clement Onwube, made this known at a news conference in Lafia on Friday.
He said that the gesture was part of activities to mark the 2017 World Oral Health Day, celebrated on March 20 every year.
He added that the celebration of the day was the culmination of a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness on the prevention and control of oral diseases.
He said that it was also aimed at raising the profile of oral health on the global health and development agenda by highlighting the social and economic impact of oral diseases.
He explained that statistics from the World Dental Federation indicated that 3.9 billion people were affected by oral diseases globally and that 90 per cent of the total world population would suffer from oral disease during their lifetime.
“Oral disease is the most prevalent of all the 291 conditions included in the study of global burden of diseases.
“It is also true that between 60 per cent and 90 per cent of school children and 90 per cent of adults globally have tooth decay with 30 per cent of people aged 65 years and above having artificial teeth.”
He noted that the theme of this year’s celebration “Live Mouth Smart” was geared toward empowering people to take control of their oral health, to enjoy healthy and functional mouth from childhood into old age.
“People can safeguard their oral health through good oral hygiene habits, avoiding risk factors such as refined sugar intake, tobacco use, excessive alcohol intake and having regular dental check up, ” he said.
Onwube said the national event would hold on March 20 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, where more than 1,000 people would access free dental services.
He added that the free dental screening and treatment would be replicated in all states, courtesy of the NMA.
He urged the public to take advantage of the opportunity to have their teeth examined.