Oral Hygiene Initiative screens 2,000 workers
Oral Hygiene Initiative Screens 2,000 Workers, Second Phase Doubles Target
The Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine (HBMCDM) announced the successful completion of screenings under the Oral Hygiene Initiative announced by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.
The Initiative achieved the target of screening 2,000 workers by 2015 year end.
The second phase of the Initiative will screen 4,000 workers.
Organized in collaboration with the Permanent Committee of Labor Affairs (PCLA) in Dubai, and the Dubai Dental Clinic (DDC), the clinical partner of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine of the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Initiative delivered screening sessions from May 19 until December 8, 2015.
The announcement was made during a press conference at the Dubai World Trade Centre on the sidelines of the 20th edition of the UAE International Dental Conference and Arab Dental Exhibition – AEEDC, ending on February 4, 2016.
The conference was attended by His Excellency Saif Bin Markhan Al Ketbi, Director-General, Office of the Crown Prince of Dubai; Her Excellency Dr Raja Al Gurg, Vice-Chairperson and Executive Director of Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA); His Excellency Major General Obaid Moheir Bin Suroor, Chairman, Permanent Committee of Labor Affairs in Dubai; Dr Amer Ahmad Sharif, Chief Executive Officer-Education Sector, Dubai Healthcare City Authority; and senior officials.
His Excellency Al Ketbi praised HH Sheikh Hamdan for launching the humanitarian initiative that has helped improve oral health standards and address treatment needs among workers who represent an important community in the Emirate.
The Oral Hygiene Initiative implements two of the strategic themes under the Dubai Plan 2021 – a city of happy, creative and empowered people, and the preferred place to live, work and visit.
Al Ketbi said, “By working directly with workers, we have encouraged them to lead healthier lives as well as encouraged the companies that hire them to take action to contribute to employee health and wellbeing. We are excited that the next phase of the Oral Hygiene Initiative will continue to support Dubai Plan 2021, promoting the health and wellbeing of our people and making quality healthcare accessible for each socioeconomic segment of society.”
Recognizing several workers have limited access to dental treatment, resulting in untreated and often preventable oral health problems, the Initiative included dental checkups and oral hygiene instructions conducted by a team comprising faculty, residents and dental hygienists, dental assistants and administrative staff.
“The reach of the Oral Hygiene Initiative for workers demonstrates the need of targeting the health requirements of people from this community,” said Her Excellency Al. “Preventable health problems affect the quality of life and drive healthcare costs higher. For a health system to be sustainable, public health strategies and approaches should focus in underserved areas. The Hamdan Oral Hygiene Initiative provides access to specialized dental treatment by advancing health in an important section of our society thus closing gaps in health disparities.”
The clinical data collected from the 2,000 workers screened indicated that the most common oral health problems were dental plaque and tartar (calculus), tooth decay (dental caries) and gum (periodontal) disease. Around 46% of the workers were suffering from dental pain. Severe dental problems were found in 44% of the workers who required dental extraction whereas close to 30% workers had missing teeth requiring fixed or removable dental prostheses. Overall it was observed that 81% required oral hygiene programs.
Dr Sharif, said, “It is an honor to work with our stakeholders to actively support the Oral Hygiene Initiative. Screening is a natural extension of the work carried out by the clinical partner of our College, the Dubai Dental Clinic, and part of our public health commitment. Over time, the data collected from these screenings will help us design better public health strategies.”
In 2015, as part of its CSR commitment, the Clinic, screened more than 3,000 members of the community, including workers, school students, and children with special needs, and held health education sessions on how to maintain a healthy smile.
His Excellency Major Bin Suroor, said, “Our goal is to improve access to services in support of workers’ safety, health and rights. Our work with the Oral Hygiene Initiative is one more example of how we are achieving this goal. We are proud to be able to help 2,000 workers, and look forward to helping many more in the future.”