Abdul Haleem, Ayyaz Ali Khan.
School-based oral health education in Pakistan- the need and possible strategies.
Pak Oral Dental J Jan ;26(1):119-24.
In Pakistan school-based Oral Health Education (OHE) has so far been undertaken mainly in urban schools as a sporadic activity. This review paper argues that the dentists, though sufficient in number, cannot be relied upon for imparting OHE to school children because firstly they are mal-distributed and secondly OHE work in general is not considered to be very rewarding by dentists. It discusses strategies that rely on resource persons from within the school system like trained and motivated teachers; and peer group leaders need to be evaluated in order to have OHE programs that are school-based in the real sense, available to the majority of school children and carry a component of continuity. The school-based strategies for oral health promotion offers cost effective means of preventing and controlling oral diseases. However, the anticipated effect of economic, educational and socio-cultural diversity on the selection of oral health promotion strategies in different parts of the world necessitates that these strategies should be rigorously evaluated before implementation. The paper concludes that it is important to get an idea of the practicalities involved in implementing any of these strategies; which will help in identifying a school-based OHE strategy that is effective, sustainable, and available as well as acceptable to the majority of school children in Pakistan. This is a review article.
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