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80% of Nigerians lacks oral health care —MINISTER

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By Chioma Obinna

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, yesterday, said that only one in five (20 per cent) Nigerians have access to oral healthcare even as he said that HIV/AIDS pandemic has contributed to the high burden of oral disease in the country.

The minister, who expressed concern over reportedly high prevalence of oral diseases such as dental caries and periodontal disease, said the burden has risen to epidemic proportion.

Professor Isaac Adewole
Professor Isaac Adewole

Adewole, who spoke at the 6th edition of the National Oral Health Week Celebration in Abuja, explained that the prevalence of periodontal diseases is higher than the five per cent epidemic threshold.

According to him, “periodontal disease affects all age groups and social strata and there are over three  million HIV-infected persons in Nigeria and 40 percent of them present with oral lesions.

“Traumatic dental injury, with its attendant negative impact on oral health, due to road traffic crashes especially motorcycle-related is becoming an epidemic in most urban and rural areas in the country.”

 

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