400 CHPs In Kiambu Graduate With A Dental Health Course Provided By WHO

Kiambu county is the first to graduate over 400 Community Health Promoters (CHPs) with a dental health course provided by WHO.

The 400 CHPs were issued their graduation certificates in an event that marked this year’s World Oral Health Day at Ndumberi Stadium in Kiambu sub county.

The graduation which was graced by the presence of distinguished guests, including the Principal Secretary (PS) State Department Medical Services at the Ministry of Health Harry Kimtai marked not just an academic achievement but a commitment to advocating for healthier smiles across the County.

The PS lauded Kiambu CHPs for being the first lot to successfully completing the online dental course by WHO, that was being pilot in 24 counties in the county.

‘The WHO online course on Oral Health for CHPs goes to equipped the CHPs with the essential knowledge and practical guidance to promote oral health, prevent oral diseases, and identify early signs of oral health problems’ he added that ‘by dissemination of oral health information
at the community level, communities are empowered to participate in the oral health agenda, ensuring an effective national response at the primary healthcare levels and ensuring that the most vulnerable members of our society receive the care they deserve,’ he noted.

Kimtai further emphasized the need to prioritize oral health citing that most oral diseases are largely preventable and share common modifiable risk factors with other Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

‘Disparities in access to oral healthcare persist particularly in underserved communities and marginalized populations, the Kenya Oral Health Survey (2015) revealed that 98.1 percent of the adult population were affected by periodontal (gum) diseases while 46.3 percent of children aged five years old presented with dental caries,’ the PS stated

Underscoring governmental support for initiatives aimed at enhancing oral hygiene awareness the health PS revealed that government, through the Ministry of Health is committed to addressing the oral health
needs of all Kenyans

‘The Kenya National Oral Health Policy 2022 – 2030 and the Kenya National Oral Health Strategic Plan 2022 – 2026 speaks to this commitment by placing a high emphasis on addressing oral health through essential evidence-based, cost-effective and sustainable interventions in the context of UHC agenda, a cornerstone of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA)’ said the PS

On his part Dr. Tim Theuri, the president of Kenya Dental Association (KDA) who were partner organizers of the event called upon the government to employ more dentists as the county is faced with a great shortage of dental doctors

‘We currently have about 1500 registered dentist against a population of about 55 million Kenyans, whom are required to see a dental doctor at list twice a year, we are asking the government to get this number to at least 5000 dentists before the year ends,’ cited the KDA president

Kiambu CECM for Health Services Dr. Elias Maina who represented the County government acknowledged tha
t improving oral health outcomes cannot be achieved by the government alone but it rather requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders, including the communities, training institutions, corporates, donor agencies and development partners.

‘I urge each one of you to take responsibility for your oral health and encourage others to do the same, adopting simple healthy habits such as regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups, as these can prevent many oral health problems and promote overall well-being’ he said

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that globally at least 60% of school going children and nearly 100% of adults have experienced dental cavities; while 30% of the populations aged 65-74 years have no natural teeth.

Source: Kenya News Agency