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Provision of oral health care services in Tanzania: implementation status (2005)

HJ Mosha


Oral health is integral to general health. Those with ill health are at greater risk of oral diseases that, in turn further complicate their overall health. The experience of pain, endurance of dental abscesses, problems with eating and chewing, embarrassment about the shape or missing of teeth, discoloured or damaged teeth can adversely affect peoples daily lives and well-being. The policy guidelines for oral health in Tanzania (2002) were developed to minimise the impact of diseases of oral and craniofacial origin on health and psychosocial development, giving emphasis to promoting oral health and reducing oral diseases amongst communities with the greatest burden of such conditions and diseases. Secondly to minimize the impact of oral and craniofacial manifestations of systemic diseases on individuals and the society, and to use these manifestations for early diagnosis, prevention and effective management of systematic diseases. The implementation status of the policy guidelines for oral health care in Tanzania (2002) is discussed in this paper, putting emphasis on the achievements and constraints. The development of strategies and plans for implementation focusing on the councils/districts and community levels, strengthening health facilities with appropriate oral health technologies, methods, equipment and human resource, integrating training in essential oral health skills and undertaking operational research on oral health priority problems and needs are the future plans of action.

Tanzania Dental Journal Vol. 12(1) 2005: 30-34

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eISSN: 0856-0625