Unilever Ghana reiterates commitment to oral healthcare

UnileverGhana has reiterated its commitment to support oral healthcare to promote the health of the citizens to boost the economy.

According to Unilever, tooth loss had serious consequences affecting general health and wellbeing, quality of life, and economic and social opportunities.

The Category Manager for Oral Care, Unilever Ghana, Joel Boateng, told the Ghanaian Times that a research conducted by Unilever’s Pepsodent showed a huge inequality in access to professional dental care and advice in Ghana, with 70 percent of dentists practising in the two largest cities: Accra and Kumasi.

“This disparity in access is severe in rural areas where problems of unequal distribution of oral health services, shortages in formally trained dentists, and high costs of dental treatments are more pronounced. There are periodic outreach programmes organised by the Ministry of Health or NGOs reaching out to them,” he said.

He said Unilever had embarked on a campaign to promote good oral healthcare as part of this year’s World Oral Health Day which is on the theme “Don’twait until it’s too late to talk to a dentist.”

He said there were 570 dentists currently serving the needs of 31 million population which implied a ratio of one dentist to 58,400 people.

“Out of about 298 public hospitals and polyclinics, there are only 84 dental facilities in the country. Of these, only 54 clinics have equipment in reasonably good condition. This means that visiting a dentist to address oral health problems is often delayed, or problems are not treated at all,” Mr Boateng said the study revealed.

He said adults who had lost teeth had a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and are at risk of malnutrition.

“As part of our brand’s ongoing mission to unleash the power of healthy smiles by eradicating oral disease for everyone, Pepsodent is providing a service which offers free access to advice from a registered dentist to tackle barriers to access such as distance and dentist availability,” he said.

He said Pepsodentwas providing free dental check-ups via dental screening centres around the country, stressing that “Through these activities, we hope to encourage people to take control of their oral health and avoid severe pain, costly and complicated treatments, and ultimately tooth loss.”

Dr Paapa Pupulampu, President of the Ghana Dental Association,said people often ignore the warning signs of a problem, such as toothache or gum bleeding, hoping it would go away.

Dr Pupulampu reiterated that oral health was closely tied to the overall health of the body and lauded Pepsodent for always coming up with educational programmes to enlighten Ghanaians on oral health.


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