As Nigeria marks the 5th National Oral Health Week, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said that oral cancer (mouth cancer), cleft lip and palate, and other dental diseases and deformities, still constitute major public health problems worldwide.
Ehanire, who was speaking yesterday in Abuja at a press briefing to Flag-off the 2015 National Oral Health Week in the country, said other oral health diseases like periodontal diseases, oro-facial tumours and deformities, have major impact on individuals and communities in terms of pain and sufferings, functional impairment and reduced quality of life.
“Cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and salivary glands are responsible for an estimated 390,000 new cases of cancer worldwide in 2000 and is still a major health challenge because the five years survival rate remains disappointingly low at about 50 per cent, he said.
Enahire disclosed that the National Council on Health, NCH, has approved the inclusion of dental records in medical check-ups.
The minister disclosed that Nigeria has been participating in the World Health Organisation, WHO, due process of integrating oral diseases into non-communicable diseases policy framework by her active involvement in the regional consultation.
These consultative meetings, the Minister explained was to develop action plans and targets for the prevention and control of oral diseases in the WHO African region 2014-2020.
He also bemoaned the lack of strategic framework for modern dentistry practice in Nigeria.

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