KIU, Main Campus - Uganda’s Ministry of Health on Monday, March 21, 2022, joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Oral Health day under the theme: "Don't leave oral health behind, oral health matters".
The event was hosted by the Uganda Institute of Allied Health and Management Sciences, Mulago.
To celebrate the day, the Dental Camp at Dental School Gardens in Mulago has offered free dental services, to create an opportunity for citizens to have their oral health checked.
The Ministry of Health tweeted: "Drop by the Dental Camp at Dental School Gardens in Mulago TODAY and get your oral health checked! Services offered are free of charge!"
In a message to commemorate the Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti on Sunday said World Oral Health Day is marked annually on 20 March, to raise awareness around the importance of oral health.
Dr. Moeti said that in line with the aim of achieving “Oral Health for All”, WHO takes this opportunity to inspire behaviour change amongst individuals and communities, and urges governments, non-government organizations and the private sector to work towards an enabling environment that will make this possible.
"Good oral health is, after all, an important contributor to overall good health, well-being and quality of life," she noted.
She also pointed out that in the WHO African Region, more than 480 million people suffer from oral diseases such as dental caries and periodontal disease and tooth loss, despite most of these being preventable.
Dr. Moeti stated that factors contributing to oral diseases include an unhealthy diet high in sugar, smoking, harmful use of alcohol, poor hygiene and other social determinants. "These are the same factors also responsible for non-communicable diseases (NCDs)."
As such, she said there is a unique opportunity to prioritize oral health as a means to contribute directly to reducing NCDs and their associated risk factors. In this context, Dr. Moeti said in 2016, Member States endorsed the Regional Oral Health Strategy 2016-2025: Integrating oral health into NCDs prevention and control towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).