Rwanda celebrates World Oral Health Day

Kigali, March 22, 2021. Rwanda has joined the World to commemorate the 2021 World Oral Health Day, at the College of Medicine and Health Science School of dentistry, in the University of Rwanda under the theme, "Be Proud of your mouth."

The burden of oral disease is compounded by its association with other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and some cancers. It is driven by common risk factors including tobacco use, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets.

In Rwanda, the first oral health survey published in 2018 revealed that nearly two-thirds (64.9%) of the 2097 participants had caries experience and 54.3% had untreated caries. Among adults 20 years of age and older, 32.4% had substantial oral debris and 60.0% had calculus. A majority (70.6%) had never visited an oral health provider.

While briefing the Press, the Director General of Clinical and Public Health Services, Dr. Corneille Ntihabose who represented the Minister of Health, re-echoed that preventive care, early detection and treatment are key to reducing oral diseases and associated health complications and called upon the population to adopt oral hygiene habits.  

 “I encourage people to adopt good oral hygiene habits and follow the advice of oral health professionals; for those with oral health issues, oral health care services are available and accessible at all levels of the healthcare system in Rwanda. We have more than 500 therapists and more than 50 dental surgeons” Said Dr. Ntihabose.

The Ag. Principal of College of Medicine and Health Science at the University of Rwanda, Dr Jeanne Kagwiza, on her part highlighted their role in the fight against oral diseases including dental diseases.
 “We are happy to celebrate the world oral health day, here we have a dental clinic, we are treating people who have oral diseases; this is very important for us because we train our students and treat patients at the same time.”

 Aline Uwihirwe from Kicukiro, is a patient seeking dental health service at dental clinic of the university of Rwanda expressed her satisfaction about service delivery. “I have a problem of abnormal tooth, they gave me an appointment, so I came here for my tooth extraction, I am now satisfied with the service they provided to me.”    

World Oral Health Day is observed annually on 20 March to  raising global awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance of oral hygiene.

Highlights of the commemoration of the Oral Health 2021 in Rwanda.