Worried by the low level of low oral healthcare awareness, dental practitioners across the country have set up a Dental Support Foundation (DSF), to galvanise efforts towards the promotion, encouragement and advancement of dental practice in Nigeria.
President of the Foundation, Dr. Bidemi Dawodu explained to journalists in Lagos recently, that the current high prevalence of oral diseases such as dental caries and periodontal disease should be seen as a major source of concern to professionals in the health sector, the government and the Nigerian people.
Dawodu submitted that the DSF therefore seeks to encourage the government to implement the Nigerian Oral Health Care Policy aimed at ensuring the creation of at least one dental care centre in each local government with a view to improving the oral health of Nigerians.
“The support foundation which was incorporated three years ago, will equally strive to encourage dental practitioners undertake measures to improve public oral health and dental education; maintain the dignity of the dental profession; protect the rights and interests of young dentists; and create job opportunity for young dentists,” he said.
Other objectives, according to Dawodu, include reducing the burden of equipment acquisition to the barest minimum and fostering of friendship, co-operation and co-existence amongst the members of the profession both young and old.
“The starting point is to create the awareness among the people about dental healthcare. It is so bad today that people don’t go to the dentist until they have serious pains in their mouths. But what is crucial is the implementation of the oral health policy passed by the National Assembly a long time ago,” he said.
Dawodu emphasised that the implementation of the policy will galvanise the oral healthcare and create employment for dentists, because the cardinal point is the setting up of dental clinic in all the local government areas in the country.
A member of the support foundation, Dr. Ademola Ademuson also said that the “support foundation we have come to add value and come see how to solve problems. There are lot of problems in terms of getting jobs and getting access to funding which we are putting together to create solution of work with every part of the dental ladder. To projects our aims and objective we decided to work with the media.”