Severe Shortage Of Dentists In Tanzania
The level of dental health problems in Tanzania was revealed yesterday when oral health stakeholders gathered to discuss the dire shortage of dentists in the country. The World Health Organisation recommends a ratio of 1 dentist to 7,500 patients but the ratio in Tanzania is 1 dentist to 120,000 patients.
Tanzania has only one dental school, one dental technology school and three dental therapist schools. In light of the situation the government is working with the Tanzania Dental Association to launch a new oral health strategy to improve oral health across the country by 2017.
The strategy was announced yesterday at the opening of the 27th scientific conference and annual general meeting in Dar es Salaam. The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Hussein Mwinyi, outlined plans for the new strategy and described oral health as an “essential and integral component of overall health.”
The government will take steps to improve standards of oral health by improving access to preventative and curative dental care. Mwinyi pledged that the government will work in partnership with the Tanzania Dental Association to make improvements to the current system to allow more people to see a dentist.
The government will also be handing out and circulating educational oral health leaflets and fact sheets to educate people about oral hygiene. The country will also be participating in World Oral Health Day which takes place every September.Join this Discussion