Baseline survey of oral health of primary and secondary school pupils in Uganda.
AbstractBackground: Among the issues that determine the performance of a child at school is health. In recognition of this, the Uganda government has embarked on a school health program for the success of universal primary education. Although dental health is an important component of school health there is little information on it.
Objective: This study aimed at collecting information on dental health of pupils in school for evaluation and planning.
Design: A cross-sectional study using a multistage cluster sampling technique was used to select 685 children attending schools in 5 districts. Children were clinically examined for common illnesses/conditions. The oral examinations were done using simplified versions of Decayed, Missing, and Filled teeth (DMFT) index and Community Periodontal Index (CPI). Oral examinations also assessed presence of fluorosis.
Results: The pupils attending school were aged from 5 to 22 years. Sixty six percent (456) were found to be caries free with a group DMFT of 0.7. The D-component (decay) accounted for approximately 70% of the cases. Fifty nine percent of the pupils were found to have a healthy periodontium. Sixteen percent of the pupils were found to have some degree of fluorosis of whom the majority were from the highland districts of Kabale and Mbale. Urban school pupils were more likely to have caries (OR 1,69; 95% CI 1.21-2.37) than the rural.
Conclusion: There is an upward trend in the caries prevalence when compared to studies done earlier. This study revealed a need to develop preventive programs alongside improvement of dental health services.
African Health Sciences 2003; 3(1): 19 - 22
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