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Naga institutionalizes oral health program

NAGA CITY --- The local government unit here is taking oral disease as serious matter that continues to pose as an alarming public health problem in the country today.

This, after Ordinance 2019-052, which was passed and approved on July 23, this year, underscored the Department of Health’s data confirming the prevalence of dental caries on permanent teeth that generally remain above 90% throughout the years.

The data show that about 92.4% of Filipinos have tooth decay (dental caries) and 78% have gum diseases (periodontal diseases).

The ordinance, which was authored by City Councilors Joselito S.A. Del Rosario and Jose C. Rañola, M.D., said that although the diseases are preventable and do not directly cause disability or death, they affect almost every Filipino at one point or another in his/her lifetime.

The authors of the ordinance also expressed alarm about the oral health status of the Filipino children. In the 2006 data of DOH, it was learned that the oral health status of Philippine public elementary school pupils revealed that 97.1% of 6-year old children suffer from tooth decay and more than 4 out of every five children of this subgroup manifest symptoms of dentinogenic infection.

The data also show that 74% of 12-year-old children suffer from gingivitis which, if not treated early, will make them susceptible to irreversible periodontal diseases as they enter adolescence and approach adulthood.

Finding the city government’s existing oral health services limited to curative and treatment services, the authors deemed it necessary to further strengthen the LGU’s program and appropriate funds to make the conduct of its oral health services effective.

To be known as “an ordinance strengthening the oral health program in the city government of Naga, establishing guidelines in the implementation thereof, institutionalizing the Oral Health Services Division in the City Health Office, and appropriating funds thereof, the measure mandates the LGU to implement programs and projects so that desirable oral health services can effectively meet.

The Naga City Oral Health Services Center shall, therefore, have a wider scope of service, measures, and interventions from preventive to curative/treatment to the promotion of oral health and risk behavior education and counselling to oral health instruction and advice.

Preventive services are consist of oral examination/case finding, oral hygiene, pit and fissure sealant program, and fluoride utilization program while the curative/treatment services and interventions are remedial measures applied to stop the progress of oral disease process and restore the sound condition of the teeth and supporting tissues which include permanent filing, gum treatment, atraumatic restorative treatment (ART), temporary filing, extraction, treatment of post extraction complication, and drainage of localized oral abscesses.

Under promotive services are the promotion of oral health includes health education activities directed to the priority groups thru individual or group approach by using accepted tools and media. This includes oral health education to preschool children, referrals and follow-up, and community organizations that support oral health.

Oral health instruction/advice – oral or written advice are given to patients concurrent with oral treatment or consultation which includes information to promote oral health. It also includes pre and post-operative instruction and advice to achieve full cooperation of patient with regards to the dental treatment given.

The Ordinance also provides that “other oral health needs requiring treatment not within the scope of services enumerated shall be referred to other health facilities or private practitioners. It shall be the duty of the City Health Dentist, however, to see to it that patients thus referred actually received the treatment needed through the effective referral and follow-up system.”

Section 5 of the Ordinance provides that the LGU’s oral health service center shall adopt, develop, and implement different communication strategies to promote desirable oral health practices based on different lifecycle approaches (e.g. the types of services under basic oral health care packages for infants, children, adolescents, and adults).

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