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India to have 2nd oral health survey
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After having a failed attempt at conducting a countrywide oral survey, the Dental Council of India (DCI) under the aegis of the Union Health Ministry is all set to process a fresh research on India’s dental policy.

The survey, National Survey on Availability of Dental Health Manpower and Disease Prevalence in Urban and Rural India, which was conducted in 2008 was not published as errors and discrepancies were detected when the council had reviewed it.

The last survey by the council was done in 2002-2003 and was published in 2004. After 14 years, the council has once again finalised the roadmap to conduct the research on oral health of the people.

“Around 30-40 per cent of the people are diagnosed with oral cancer. While the government is taking rigorous steps to prevent other diseases like HIV and AIDS, there is always a need to work on such diseases which can be prevented,” said Dr Sabyasachi Saha, secretary of DCI. The new survey will be focusing more on the manpower and the difficulties faced in getting access to the oral healthcare. “As of now, there is no authentic data on the number of dental surgeon in the country. Even the facilities in the dental hospitals are not updated for the people to know. All these factors will be kept in mind this time,” added Dr Saha.

The council has prepared the methodology and the budget has been pegged at Rs 5 crore. A committee has been formed to examine the survey details and the meeting is to be held on June 2. The proposal will then move to the Union Ministry of Health for the final nod.

“The target is to complete the survey by 2020. We will be covering all the states and each state will be divided into four-five regions,” said Dr AK Chandna, member of DCI.

As many as 2,500 persons die every day due to tobacco-related diseases in India. According to the National Cancer Registry Programme of the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR), more than 1300 Indians die every day due to cancer. “In India, we do not pay attention on oral diseases. People make a visit to the doctor only when the situation turns alarming,” said Dr Ravi Mehrotra, director, National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR) and Knowledge hub on Smokeless Tobacco (KH-SLT).


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