Promoting Oral Health in Africa: Prevention and control of oral diseases and noma as part of essential noncommunicable disease interventions
AbstractEvery day, across Africa, people seek relief from pain or discomfort that affects their ability to speak,to eat and to participate in all the routines of normal life. In many cases they can be helped withessential, cost-effective interventions; without such interventions millions of people will continue tosuffer needlessly and in some cases die.Promoting Oral Health in Africa is the response by the WHO Regional Office for Africa to requests fromacross the Region’s 47 countries for a reference manual to help prevent and manage oral diseasesat the primary health care level. It provides clear, straightforward guidance to health care workers,communities and decision-makers on how to tackle such diseases. As well as the most frequentlypresenting conditions, such as tooth decay and gum disease, the manual also addresses noma, a“hidden disease” that causes death and severe disfigurement.This manual aims at the prevention of oral diseases and promotion of good oral health. It emphasizesthe fact that improving oral health is an integral part of the essential package of interventions againstnoncommunicable diseases at the primary health care level. Promoting Oral Health in Africa proposes aBasic Package of Oral Care, and includes a set of 10 protocols written specially for primary health carestaff to aid in diagnosing and treating specific oral diseases. It also presents the overall rationale forhealth initiatives within school and community settings, and recommends a set of integrated activitiesat both levels.Promoting Oral Health in Africa was developed with the participation of experts from the WHO AfricanRegion and beyond. The lessons learnt during implementation of the guidance contained in the manualwill be used to inform regular updates, ensuring that the manual continues to respond to the needs ofAfrican people and fulfil its goal of re-energizing national and local efforts to improve their oral health.
World Health Organization. Regional Office for Africa. (2016). Promoting Oral Health in Africa: Prevention and control of oral diseases and noma as part of essential noncommunicable disease interventions. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Africa. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/205886
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