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44—Vanguard, TUESDAY,

44—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2018 Unchecked oral health disease can lead to death — EXPERTS •As Pepsodent kicks off World Oral Health Day celebration As the world rolls out thedrums to mark this year's World Oral Health Day, with the theme: Say Ahh: Think Mouth, Think Health, experts have decried poor public awareness on oral hygiene, warning that oral health disease left unchecked can lead to major negative health consequences, including death. They also maintained that individuals must understand that good oral health is much more than a nice smile as it can impact every aspect of life including ability to perform basic functions. In his submission at a press conference organised by the Nigerian Dental Association, NDA, in partnership with Unilever Nigeria Plc weekend, in Lagos, the President of NDA, Dr. Olabode Ijarogbe, who observed that poor public awareness on oral hygiene was seriously affecting dental care in Nigeria, regretted that simple things like daily oral hygiene using fluoride toothpaste are not yet a common practice in Nigeria. Ijarogbe said individuals must avoid risk factors such as tobacco, harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets especially those rich in sugar. "Avoiding these risk factors not only helps protect oral health but prevent other conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes." He announced that for this year's oral health day celebrations, the NDA will be organising a week-long activities including health awareness walk, dental outreaches in rural communities, while the grand finale would hold on March 20, 2018 at the Union Bank Sports Hall, Surulere Lagos. Speaking on the activities for the year, the marketing director, Unilever Ghana Nigeria, Bunmi Adeniba said: "This year, we will be focusing on creating awareness on tooth decay, currently the most widespread, chronic disease in the world, that affects three out of five children, and almost all adults. Tooth decay can be prevented and avoided through good oral hygiene practices, and increased support and funding for prevention, detection and treatment programs." "From inception till date, Pepsodent has reached a total of 3.5 million children with its Brush Day and Night Schools Programme. “In 2018, we intend to directly reach 1.5 million school children with our products and educational materials. This year, we'll also be enlisting Nigerian youths as oral health advocates, who will take the message of good oral health to their communities. Our vision and commitment is to improve the oral health of 10 million Nigerian children by 2020 through the Pepsodent Brush Day & Night Schools Programme," she concluded. Speaking, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who was represented by the Director/ Head of Dentistry in the ministry, Dr. Bola Alonge, noted that the World Oral Health Day is celebrated every March 20 globally to educate the public on the benefits of a healthy mouth and create awareness on issues surrounding oral health, and to promote oral hygiene among people. Alonge commended the initiative, saying that the partnership between the Federal Ministry of Health and Unilever will help deliver optimal oral health care in the country. Better days ahead for post-graduate medical trainees — Prof. Opubo By Gabriel Olawale Teaching Hospital THE newly installed President of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, NPMCN, Professor Opubo Benedict da Lilly-Tariah has assured that his administration would see to the development of competent and highly skilled fellows. He made this pledge during his investiture as the 20th President of the college in Lagos. Da Lilly-Tariah further expressed his desire to make the college a renowned international medical graduate training centre with state-of-theart training facility that would support the evolving needs of specialist doctors and dentists at all levels of their career. Professor Da Lilly-Tariah who is also the Head of ENT department at the University of Port Harcourt informed the audience that the dream of the founding fathers of the institution, which among others, was to reduce the huge sums of money being expended on medical tourism and overseas training, has stood the test of time. Da Lilly-Tariah further stated that the successful training and graduation of 5,773 Fellows by the college since inception, has saved the country a lot of funds. He said: "Our mandate as a college is to produce medical and dental specialists of the highest standards who will provide world class services in teaching, research and healthcare. "In pursuing this mission, I will encourage all faculties to develop curricula in subspecialties in line with the 21st Century as the college wishes to certify all subspecialty training. "The college will pursue the disciplines of Emergency Medicine and Geriatric Medicine with increased vigour. The various faculties will be tasked with drawing up areas of issue-based interests that will generate research topics and the college is willing to collaborate with any agency in funding this project. "Our ultimate goal of investing in ICT is to run online course and we are not going to relent until that is achieved. He urged government to invest a logical percentage of the saved fund to the college for improvement of training infrastructure, educational facilities and its overall development. "Government should try as much as possible to prevent recurrent strike in our teaching hospitals, brain drain and ensure universal health coverage at all levels in Nigeria.