Provincial Health Office continues advocacy on oral care

“Dental diseases may not be serious illness but they could lead to serious problems if remained ignored.”

Provincial Health Office (PHO) Supervising Dental Program Coordinator Dr. Glomaris B. Comendador made this warning as the PHO continues to promote proper oral care.

One of PHO’s programs is the Dental Health Program. Its target priorities are the pre-schoolers, children, adolescents (in age groups), expecting mothers and older persons especially the indigent residents in the province.

In 2013, PHO recorded 97, 159 patients with curative and preventive cases who were provided with basic oral health care.

Among the strategies and actions PHO are doing under the program are conducting dental lectures in public schools, counseling patients-smokers regarding its effects like gum problems, tooth brushing program for pre-school children and providing medical missions.

The PHO is also promoting oral health care through the rural health units in the province to prevent dental problems. The oral health care is based on the standard given by the Department of Health (DOH).

Through PHO, the Cebu Provincial Government conduct 54 dental in the different towns, barangays and detention centers in the province from July 2013 to June 2014. These missions  served children, adults, senior citizens, differently-abled and Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) inmates.

During the first quarter of this year, data shows that a total of 21, 021 patients with oral problems have been served.

Last year, CPDRC requested PHO to conduct monthly dental check-up for all inmates. A group of public health dentists and dental aides conducted a medical mission twice in CPDRC. Of the 1,702 inmates when the request was made, 44 percent of them were recorded with oral health conditions.

The installation of a public health dentist in CPDRC sometime in March this year was detailed in the facility to cater the patients-inmates’ needs.

“If we want to take care of the oral health of the general public, we must give first due attention also to the public servants” Dr. Comendador added.

Launched last August 2, 2013 in the course of the 444th Founding Anniversary of the province, the Oral Health Care Program of the Provincial Government offers oral examination, consultation, oral prophylaxis, restorative filling both permanent and temporary, extraction of unsavable teeth, gum treatment and counseling to smokers especially on its effects.

The Dental Health Program is a national-based objective under the DOH to control oral health risks among individuals especially the young through proper tooth brushing and other preventive measures. (Ana Liza L. Abao, SWU MassCom Intern)