by Theckla Gunga – EMTV News,Port Moresby
The Deputy Secretary for National Health Services Standard, Doctor Pasion Dakulala, says dental set ups are non-existent in major hospitals in Papua New Guinea.
He says most dental facilities have deteriorated over the years, some to the point where they have closed down.
“Many of the dental set ups are no longer operating and their is an increase in dental deseases. “said Dakulala.
A survey released by the United Nations Organisation states that oral cancer in PNG has remained high since the turn of the century and PNG is ranked first in the world, with more people dying from oral cancer.
Secretary Dakulala, when addressing pregnant mothers on the significance of oral health, highlighted the difficulty people in rural areas face in accessing dental services.
Common dental cases reported to hospitals and dental clinics include tooth decay, swollen or infected gums, and painful toothaches that require filling or removal of tooth.
As a way forward, Dakulala announced that standard plans were compiled by the Health Department for provincial clinics right across the country and challenged provincial governments to partner with the department in addressing dental health at provincial levels.
Dakulala challenged the health department to simultaneously strengthen the Oral Health Services and Rehabilitate the dental facilities that have deteriorated over the years.
He believes that if the dental services reach rural communities, it could minimise the high oral cancer rate in the country.