483 - Namibia: Developing Partnerships for Children’s Oral Health
C Pari IG Johnson O Jacob A Patel S Thomas N West L Sidhu F Stegman O Olowofoyeku N Umbaru J Hall
Presented by: Caron Pari
Cardiff Dental Hospital
Introduction: Work was carried out in 2019, as part of Phoenix project with the University of Namibia, to determine the state of paediatric oral health in Namibia and thereafter to identify opportunities for oral health promotion. Namibia is described by the World Bank as an upper-middle-income country but has extreme socio-economic inequalities. It has a young population with approximately two fifths under the age of 15. More than 11 indigenous languages are spoken in Namibia. Method: Data was collected collaboratively by a team in 7 locations across Namibia, including schools and orphanages. Oral health assessment and questionnaire was completed using a standardised procedure following assessor training. Children participated in activities for oral health promotion and were provided with oral health advice. Children with urgent dental needs were referred for treatment in local hospitals. Results: A total of 402 children were screened with a mean age of 10 years. A large proportion of children had dental caries experience and treatment need • 64% of children aged 2-10 years had dental caries experience • 58% of children aged 6-10 years were deemed to need prompt treatment • Over 25% reported dental pain in the preceding 12 months • 66% of the 380 who responded to questions about dental visits had never seen a dentist Conclusion: A large proportion of children had dental caries experience and treatment need. Younger children appear to be at particular risk from dental caries. Engagement is needed to encourage dental attendance and prevention. Oral health promotion activities for school children in Namibia have been created in line with learning from this project. Teams in Cardiff and Namibia have been working collaboratively with arts students to develop language free, culturally appropriate communication resources for local dental teams to use with children to encourage prevention and engagement with dental care.
Consent Statement: There are no details on individual patients reported within the abstract.