Dr. George Brown, a UK-based Ghanaian Dental Surgeon has proposed the formation of Basic and Senior High School oral and dental healthcare clubs in the country.
Such a club, he said, will greatly inure to the improvement of oral and dental hygiene among school children and secure many from the chronic dental ailments some people suffer in their old ages.
Dr. Brown was speaking at a series of free Dental Healthcare Outreach programmes at Peki-Blengo in South Dayi District, Adaklu-Helekpe in Adaklu District and Adidome in Central Tongu District, all in the Volta Region.
The annual programme, was organised by Jonmoore International Limited, a Ghanaian-based Transport and Projects Logistics Company, with the aim of helping to ease the dental health challenges of the people as part of its corporate social responsibilities.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS), Knight Smile Dental Centre in Accra and the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in Ho, Volta Region, collaborated.
According to the Specialist, these clubs could produce great ambassadors in disseminating awareness on oral and dental healthcare practices in homes and communities.
The country, Dr. Brown said, could greatly be reducing its annual dental healthcare bills in the near future as an indirect benefit of these clubs.
He said dental health challenges particularly amongst school children and students were of concern to his team, comprising of 20 specialists and support staff including nurses partnering the programme, adding most dental issues were highly preventable.
“Ignorance, lack of education and lack of regular check-ups are among the major dental healthcare problems in our societies,” he said.
On his part, Dr. Malcolm Farr, a London-based British Dental Healthcare Specialist, advised Ghanaians to continue the usage of the traditional chewing stick, saying it also helped in improving dental healthcare.
“The chewing stick, which has been with mankind for hundreds of years and natural, is still very useful in enhancing dental health care,” he said.
According to him, aside being common in the country, it was elsewhere around the world, the chewing stick was easy to afford among the very poor and marginalised.
The Specialist, who did not rule out the use of toothpastes and brushes, further noted that the chewing stick was not outmoded and inferior to use and should not be discarded.
In all, three Surgeons – Dr. Farr, Dr. Brown and Dr. Chris Vondee, also a Ghanaian Dental Surgeon in the UK, together with their Ghanaian wives partnered the outreach, including the mobilisation of some meditations.
A total of 1,809 beneficiaries have been screened, treated, counselled and some referred to hospitals at all three centres.
A number of beneficiaries hailed the programme and appealed for it to be expanded to cover more communities and people next year on.