Jamaicans with NCDs urged to protect Oral Health

By Caribbean Medical News Staff
Jamaica’s health minister, the Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson is urging all Jamaicans, especially those who suffer from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), to pay special attention to their oral hygiene. He said that poor oral health presents an added danger for people, who suffer from conditions such as cardiovascular (heart) disease, cancers, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease.
In his keynote address at the launch of Oral Health Month at the Randolph Lopez School of Hope, Minister Fergusson said: “Oral health and related diseases such as periodontitis (gum disease) is a major contributor to making people with those diseases worse.”
The Ministry of Health is partnering with the College of Oral Health Sciences at the University of Technology (UTech), et al, to stage a month of activities that are targeted at children who are disabled. He said that the focus on children with special needs is important as “oftentimes they are victims of not receiving vital and important services.”
Throughout the Month, several outreach events will be held to promote good oral health. Free oral screening will be offered to children with disabilities, as well as other people.
Some of the institutions that will receive special attention are: Maxfield Park Children Home in St. Andrew, and the Hanbury Home in Manchester.
The groups that are giving their support to the initiative are: the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disability, Jamaica Autism Support Awareness, and the Jamaica Association of Public Dental Surgeons.
According to reports, NCDs are to blame for more than 70 percent of deaths in Jamaica.

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