Last Updated on 4 weeks by Riaz Hassan
The Oral Health Department is responsible for the delivery of sustainable oral health programs for all citizens of Fiji. Through comprehensive legislative, promotional, preventative and curative activities that encourage the retention of natural teeth, resulting in better quality of life.
In an effort to improve oral health through primary and preventive health initiatives, the oral health unit implemented and continue carry out outreach visits targeting vulnerable and underprivileged people in remote, rural and maritime areas. These outreaches are part of the ministry’s values in providing services that are equitable and accessible to all citizens.
Recent achievements include;
- A successful National Tooth Brushing Day led by his Excellency, President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau on 24th July. Over 162,000 people were registered to participate.
- Specialist services taken down to subdivisional level; the implementation of prosthetic services to four outlying areas reflects the ministry’s commitment to providing rehabilitative tertiary level services to people in rural and remote areas; including the elderly and economically deprived communities.
- A national audit of all 32 dental facilities around the country was conducted during 2013 resulting in a baseline inventory of equipment, instruments, dental materials, consumables and infrastructure. This exercise is the first step in ensuring the continuity and sustainability of effective and high quality services.
- Delivery of oral health education and awareness in Primary School and Early Childhood Education teachers in an effort to have better supervision of tooth brushing drills at home and at school.
- Oral Health promotion for teachers, parents and caregivers of persons with special needs was also conducted in an effort to improve the oral and general health of these persons.
- Developed postgraduate training in partnership with Fiji National University in the areas of dental public health and oral surgery to begin in 2014.
- The Oral Health Clinical Service Network (CSN) strengthened service delivery through the Clinical Service Plan (CSP) and Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG’s) development.
- Facilitated services from the visiting oro-maxillo facial surgery team from Australia. These highly specialised surgeries attended to patients who were suffering from oral cancers and other oral pathologies, facial trauma and birth defects.
- Lowered dental fees have resulted in more services being utilised in 2012 and 2013, attendances of patients, treatment in conservative, prosthetics, extractions, oral surgery and preventive procedures have all showed significant and beneficial increases.
The Oral Health Team overcame numerous challenges and setbacks to achieve a very successful and rewarding 2013. Overall, the 2013 Oral Health Business Plan had an 85% achievement rate with 10% to be carried over to 2014 and only 5% partially achieved. The unit is committed to improve good health for all Fijians through good oral health.