Priorities in oral health care in non-EME countries.
Van PalensteinHelderman W.
Int Dent J. 2002 Feb;52(1):30-4.
WHO Collaborating Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. email@example.com
This paper describes the prevailing problems pertaining to oral care in non-established market economy (non-EME) countries. The current situation with large numbers of untreated cases of oral diseases, the inequality in delivery systems and the virtual non-existence of an adequate community oriented prevention calls for action. What is needed is a turn towards an oral care system that meets the principles of primary health care (PHC). This implies an oral health care system which makes use of the existing health care infrastructures and which applies an appropriate technology with emphasis on community oriented prevention directed to all at an affordable price. Four components of oral care are proposed as priorities in basic oral care, aiming to achieve the objectives of the PHC philosophy. These four components are: emergency care; exposure to fluoride; oral health education (OHE); atraumatic restorative treatment (ART). These components should be available for all. The exact content and extent of each component in various countries depends on local existing supporting conditions and on the level of development as well as on specific perceived needs of the population. Therefore, small-scale demonstration projects containing one or more of the described components should firstly be launched in various countries to evaluate the acceptability, effectiveness and sustainability of the proposed basic oral care programme.