More school based dental clinics for 2017-as MOPH upscale Dental Health Care
GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, January 24, 2017
The School Oral Health Programme of the Ministry of Public Health will expand its services by creating three school based dental clinics. These clinics will be at President’s College, Lodge Secondary School (Region Four) and Christianburg Secondary School (Region Ten).
The School Oral Health Programme provides oral health education through brushing demonstrations, curative and preventive services (fillings, prophylaxis, fluoride treatment, sealants). The educational sessions are extended to Nursery, Primary and selected Secondary Schools in all 10 administrative regions of Guyana.
Dental Nurses and Dental Assistants are trained to attend, particularly to school children and young adults below age 18. Minister within the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Karen Cummings explained that the Ministry has begun a series of training and capacity building exercises for dental specialists and doctors. This will result in enhanced dental services provided to Guyanese children and youths.
These Dental Nurses and Dental Assistants work under the supervision of Dental Surgeons to deliver preventive and curative dental care to children in schools. Additionally, the Ministry of Public Health will continue to provide service and education to children, since it is believed that practicing effective oral health should begin very early in one’s life.
The schools’ dental programme is supported by Colgate Palmolive Limited in the form of a stipend for the Dentists and Dental Auxiliary personnel who visit schools. Additionally the organization provides samples of toothpaste and toothbrushes which are distributed to all school children
Meanwhile, dental services offered to the Guyanese have improved significantly. Currently, there are 59 Dentex/ Dental Nurses, 21 Community Dental Therapists and 23 Dental Assistants within the public health system. There are also 13 graduates from the University of Guyana‘s School of Dentistry in the Public Health System.
A new batch of Dental assistants and Nurses are expected to commence training in 2017. These training sessions will allow Dental Assistants and Nurses to better perform support roles to a dentist(s) for different kinds of oral care procedures.
“As we move into 2017, the Ministry of Public Health will continue to work assiduously to further enhance the dental health services
currently offered within the Public Health system. The Ministry of Public Health will be embarking on ways to ensure we provide access to best quality professional oral health care for those vulnerable populations within Guyana.” Minister Cummings explained.
The Ministry of Public Health through the Cheddi Jagan Dental Centre continues to offer exemplary Dental Health care services to the people of Guyana. A broad spectrum of dental health services including dental surgery is offered at the Centre, utilising the best modern technologies available along with a well-trained cadre of staff.
Minister Cummings added that, “There are currently 72 Dental Surgeons & Specialists Registered in Guyana. This number includes four Specialists (two Maxillofacial Surgeons, one Prosthodontist (and) one Orthodontist). There are 35 Private Dentists practicing locally, and 30 within the Public Health system.”
Approximately 90 per cent of the Guyanese population has access to free Dental Health Services offered by the Ministry of Public Health. The Cheddi Jagan Dental Centre now offers Specialized Dental Care in the areas of Maxillofacial Surgery, Prosthodontics (Dentures), Periodontics (Gum Diseases and Surgery) and Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy).
By: Delicia Haynes