LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 110-111
Government initiatives for better oral health: A glimpse
Arpit Gupta1, Vijay Prakash Mathur2
1 Unit of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Oral Health Sciences Centre, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Centre for Dental Education and Research, WHO Collaborating Centre for Oral Health Promotion, National Centre of Excellence for Implementation of National Oral Health Program, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
|Date of Web Publication||25-Feb-2019|
Dr. Vijay Prakash Mathur
#602, Centre for Dental Education and Research, AIIMS, New Delhi - 110029
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Gupta A, Mathur VP. Government initiatives for better oral health: A glimpse. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2019;37:110-1
It is indeed a pleasure reading your editorial titled “A vision for pediatric and preventive dentistry oral health policy in India.” One cannot negate that the National Oral Health Policy should primarily address the high-risk group with a focus on the pediatric population. However, through the columns of your esteemed journal, we wish to apprise the readership about National Oral Health Policy, the National Oral Health Program (NOHP), and various other steps being undertaken by the Government of India in relation to oral health.
- In 1995, The Fourth Central Council of Health and Family Welfare accepted 10 points in principle to be included in the National Health Policy
- The NOHP in its present form has been operational since 2014 under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India under the flagship of the National Health Mission., Various state Governments are being supported for taking this program across almost all states/union territories of the country
- The National Health Policy 2017 is holistic and inclusive. Its equitable health goals had paved way for the National Oral Health Policy. After this, the Health Ministry has constituted a task force for drafting the National Oral Health Policy. The task force is currently organizing workshops/meeting to develop a comprehensive policy document
- The NOHP is focusing on various components including IEC/SBCC (Information Education and Communication / Social Behaviour Change Communication) strategies for oral health awareness including media campaigns, support to the State Government for enhancing the availability of oral health services and improving accessibility to oral health care at various levels. It also has components of creating a training cascade and capacity building by training the paramedical workforce, school teachers, and other allied health professionals for oral health promotion
- The key consideration like recognition of dental caries as a preventable disease is being addressed. NOHP has been instrumental in rolling out a school-based pit and fissure sealant program across 12 Dental/Medical colleges on a pilot basis
- NOHP is also considering the enhancement of dental research, innovation, and new technologies
- NOHP had supported the establishment of almost 760 dental services to PHC (Primary Health Centre) level across 33 states under the Umbrella of National Health Mission. The Ministry is presently considering setting up of more such services. This is a stepwise escalation system for strengthening the oral health-care facilities at various levels starting from districts to villages. These services are in addition to the already existing State government facilities
- There is an increased thrust for early childhood caries prevention and control through various mother and child healthcare programs and also through the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK). The RBSK screening teams are supposed to screen 6 weeks to 18-year-old for 30 key diseases, which includes dental caries as well
- The National Professional Organizations such as the Indian Academy of Pediatrics and the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry are expected to initiate appropriate large-scale measures systematically to improve the oral health awareness. They may come forward in providing technical support and also in the implementation of various preventive programs.
Such initiatives by the Government accompanied by our support and active participation would surely make oral health care more accessible and affordable for the generations to come.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Baliga S. A vision for pediatric and preventive dentistry oral health policy in India. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2018;36:223-4.
] [Full text]
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. National Health Mission. Available from: http://www.nhm.gov.in/
. [Last accessed on 2018 Dec 12].