M a r k e t N e w s

Calls for inclusion of oral health in curriculum

Posted on : Friday, 25th November 2016

 Stakeholders want oral health hygiene included in the school curriculum.

Participants attending a health forum in Nairobi yesterday concurred that the school curriculum should be reviewed, to include oral health so that children can acquire knowledge at an early age on how to keep their mouths and teeth healthy.

The move could see formation of vibrant health clubs in schools to let pupils learn about oral hygiene.

Olive Mbuthia, a senior assistant director at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), cited areas in health education that would be included in the reformed curriculum, including oral health.

Her comments follow similar recommendations carried in the first ever Kenya National Oral Health Survey Report released last December, following a year of research by a team from the University of Nairobi (UoN) and commissioned by Wrigley EA.

The survey identified strong correlations between poor oral health in children (as well as adults) and unhealthy dental practices, lack of information and access to treatment topped the list.


Key findings showed that three out of four children, between the ages of five and 15 in Kenya, suffer from gum bleeding due to poor oral hygiene practices.

The last major review for health education in basic education in Kenya took place in 2002.

Kenya's dentist to population ratio is 1:44,000 in the public sector and only 20 per cent of dentists are in rural areas, a situation which means many oral health patients find it difficult accessing treatment.

The forum, organised by Wrigley EA, brought together participants from KICD, UoN, Kenya Dental Association and the Ministry of Health.

All the institutions backed the curriculum review.

"We propose incorporating oral health in the existing health clubs in schools to get children familiar with healthy oral health practices early," said Dr Regina Mutave, a public health specialist from UoN.


Source : www.standardmedia.co.ke
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