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Nigeria has only 84 qualified paediatric dentists left.

MDCAN Urges Improved Oral Hygiene, Regular Dental Checkups

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) is urging Nigerians to place importance on personal and oral hygiene, adding that it is a crucial step in preventing many dental challenges.

Grace Otokpa, chairman of MDCAN in the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Branch (MDCAN-UATH), made the call on Thursday at the opening ceremony of the 2023 annual general meeting of the association.

The theme for the AGM is “Sustaining Medical Practice in a Distressed Economy: The Role of MDCAN.”

Ms Otokpa said to prevent dental issues specifically “caries”, personal hygiene was key, saying it was the number one medicine to prevent any teeth challenges.

She said Nigerians must imbibe the character of regular check-ups of their teeth, adding that the medical exercise must be undertaken like any other.

“Sometimes people think that these caries, that is holes in the teeth and others, are just official; caries go beyond just that.

Read Also: Dental Therapists Advices Regular Use of Toothpastes Against Dental Diseases

“When people have these oral conditions like dental caries and some other conditions in the mouth, they can actually predispose someone to more sinister conditions like romantic fibular, heart diseases and others,” she said.

Innocent Ujah, the vice-chancellor of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo (FUHSO), Benue State, who was the keynote speaker at the event, discouraged young doctors from seeking jobs abroad, saying there was nothing so special about it.

Mr Ujah advised Nigeria’s government to work towards transforming the country’s economy to encourage health workers to stay back in the country.

Mr Ujah, a former national chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), urged governments at all levels to properly equip their health facilities to discourage medical tourism.

“There should be improved and sustained primary health care for every citizen; there should be further investment on health; political office holders should have political will to develop the health sector in tandem with international best practice.

The Chief Medical Director at UATH, Dr. Bissallah Ekele, said that he had employed both long and short-term planning strategies in doing his best to promote the activities of the teaching hospital and to address some of the challenges at the hospital over the past six years.