Implementation of the regional oral health strategy: update and way forward: report of the Regional Director
Abstract1. Oral health (ORH) is an essential component of health in general. Considering their morbidity and their socioeconomic impact, oral diseases are a major public health problem even though they can be avoided. Their consequences, such as pain and functional limitations, have an adverse impact on the health of individuals and communities. 2. In 1998, the WHO Regional Committee for Africa adopted a ten-year (1999–2008) regional strategy for oral health.1 The strategy underlines the most severe oral health problems that people live with. It sets out five priority thrusts: development and implementation of national strategies, integration of oral health into health programmes, service delivery, a regional education and training approach, and development of an oral health management information system. 3. Dental caries and diseases of the tissues supporting the dentition are predominant oral diseases because of changes in the diets of people and inadequate management of these conditions. In 2003, between 60% and 80% of school-age children2 in the African Region, who represent the most vulnerable group, were affected. In adults, noncommunicable diseases are sometimes responsible for gingival diseases, other diseases of the supporting tissues and tooth loss. Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases share common risk factors with oral diseases;3 some of these factors, like excessive intake of sugar and alcohol, use of tobacco and poor oral hygiene, can be avoided.
Regional Committee for Africa, 58. (2008). Implementation of the regional oral health strategy: update and way forward: report of the Regional Director. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/19988
DescriptionRegional Committee for Africa Fifty-eighth session Yaounde, Republic of Cameroon, 1–5 September 2008. Provisional agenda item 7.7
Gov't Doc #AFR/RC58/9
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