Consultative Meeting on Peoples Access to Oral Health in Rural Nepal: Problems, Efforts and Achievements

  RECPHEC   11 August, 2017

A Consultative Meeting on “Peoples Access to Oral Health in Rural Nepal:Problems, Efforts and Achievements” was successfully organized on 10th August, 2017 by Resource Centre for Primary Health Care (RECPHEC) in association with Jevaia Foundation

Oral diseases have significant impact on the health of people including children and adults. According to WHO, “oral health is a state of being free from chronic mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral sores, birth defects such as cleft lip and palate, periodontal disease, tooth decay and tooth loss and other diseases and disorders that affect the oral cavity.” Unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful alcohol use and poor oral hygiene are considered as key risk factors of oral disease. Similarly, accessibility, education and quality care are significant contributing factors in improving oral health among people. Oral health is an important public health in Nepal. Efforts are made to promote dental health issues; however, still lots of work need to be put up to advocate on the issue.

The purpose of this workshop will be to facilitate a discussion among varied stakeholders on how the field of dentistry can expand to reach rural and remote populations in low-resource areas. While outreach to Nepal’s rural people has typically focused on transient, emergency dental medicine, Jevaia Foundation has developed a model that promotes sustainable preventative care through schools, the delivery of dental treatment by specialists in Health Posts, and referral to secondary levels of care in urban centers. This design provides points of access for people otherwise left out of the present dental care system, which starts with secondary level care in cities.

The proposed model includes the following four elements, in approximate order of priority:
1. Specialized rural dental technicians in every Health Post (in addition to primary HPA)
2. School brushing programs and oral health education, combined with nutrition/junk-food free zones in all primary schools
3. Vendor systems to ensure local rural availability of dental hygiene products
4. Well-designed, community-based education programs in collaboration with the ministry of education.

The workshop will provide an opportunity for discussion that is needed to develop policy that supports evidence-based, high quality delivery of dental care in rural Nepal that increases access to medicine and improves the health of remote populations. In order to facilitate the discussion Jevaia Oral Health Care (JOHC) will share its model for delivery of high quality, sustainable dental medicine in government health posts, combined with a community awareness-raising and school-based prevention model. Over the last year, Jevaia Nepal has partnered with international universities to begin rigorous program evaluation and outcome assessment.

Resource Centre for Primary Health Care (RECPHEC) has been facilitating advocacy and campaign on the issues of free health service (FHS). In line with growing threats of oral health diseases especially in rural areas of Nepal, RECPHEC, in collaboration with JEVAIA Foundation, organized a consultative meeting on oral health in August 2016 to discuss on identifying issues on oral health. The meeting gave us valuable suggestion on promoting oral health in rural context with support from respective authorities. Thus to continue the efforts of promoting dental care in rural areas, RECPHEC in association with JEVAIA, is organizing a consultative meeting to further discuss on the issues. The half day programme is scheduled to take place on 10th August at Alpha House, Baneshwor.

Proposed Attendees:
This consultative meeting will be participated by government representatives, oral health professionals, NGO and INGO representatives and media persons.

Outline of the workshop
• Activity 1 – Background information on the state of oral health in Nepal and its related health impact (Government Representative)
• Activity 2 – Professional perspectives on urban vs. rural settings and implications for comprehensive delivery of care (Dr. Situ Strestha)
• Activity 3 – JOHC Model, school-based prevention, and a model for delivery of high quality community dentistry in health posts with referral system to secondary level care. Presentation of results from a recently conducted study, Assessment of Atraumatic Restorative Technique (ART) restorations placed by Auxiliary Health Workers (AHWs) in low resource settings in Nepal, in conjunction with the University of Connecticut (USA) and University of Putisasthra (Cambodia). (Laura Spero & Aamod Shrestha)
• Activity 4 – Discussion and brainstorming

Venue : Alfa House, New Baneshwor
Date : 10th August, 2017 Thursday
(Shrawan 26, 2074)
Time : 9:30 AM-012:30 PM

Jointly organized by
Resource Centre for Primary Health care
JEVAIA Oral Health Care