Saturday, September 17, 2016

Brunei - National oral health survey for adults to begin mid-September

Dr Malissa binti Abdullah Sikun, centre, at the media briefing. – Azlan Othman

THE second phase of the National Oral Health survey for adults will be conducted from September to December, during which information will be gathered to assist in the future planning of oral health care in Brunei Darussalam.

“We hope to look at the number of dental disease in the population and we try to correlate the examination data with what we have in the questionnaire,” Dr Malissa binti Abdullah Sikun, the Director of the National Oral Health Survey 2015-2017, told the media yesterday.

“A certain age group may have a high rate of tooth decay, and we will see if we need to realign our national strategy in our five-year oral health plan to achieve our target of good dental hygiene.

“The participation and the information in these surveys will provide a significant contribution to current information status of oral health in Brunei Darussalam.”

The National Oral Health Survey 2015-2017 was officially launched on August 8, 2015.

The Working Group for the Survey of Dental Services is working with expert consultants from the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health (ARCPOH) at the University of Adelaide, to seek advice and guidance in the planning and implementation of the survey to ensure that they meet the required legal, ethical and international scientific standards.

The survey is divided into two phases, with the first for children and the second for adults.

Surveys on children were successfully carried-out from August to December 2015, while the survey for adults will begin on September 17.

“The second phase of the National Oral Health Survey 2015-2017 for adults is expected to involve 4,000 random citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam, aged 18 years and above, in hospitals, health centres selected community halls across the country,” said Dr Malissa.

When asked about the findings of the earlier survey, Dr Malissa said that the results of the children’s survey were still being evaluated. “We will get the full results next year, together with the results from the adults’ survey,” she said.

On the oral health situation in Brunei Darussalam, she said, “Athough the Ministry of Health has made dental services accessible in clinics throughout the country, only one-third of the population come to seek dental treatment due to a variety of reasons such as work commitment or from a fear of coming to see us.

“We are not able increase our coverage of our population. For the past five years, we only have had about 30 per cent of the population coming to see us.

“In our children’s survey, we included questions such as the reasons for failing to see us and how we can plan strategies to increase our coverage.”

Selected participants will be given an appointment to be present at a specified location, to fill out the survey form and subsequently undergo a dental examination.

After dental examination, participants will receive general advice about their oral health and will be notified if there are major issues affecting their oral health which need further evaluation or treatment.

Appointments for the dental survey will be held from Monday to Thursday, and on Saturday, from 8am to 4.30pm.

Cooperation from employers is required, for participants in the survey to attend their scheduled appointments.

Azlan Othman

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