India launches oral health strategy
The Indian government is about to launch a programme to tackle the subcontinent's poor standards of oral and dental health. The campaign will raise awareness of the dangers of sugary food and tobacco products.
“Periodontal disease affects 90-95% of our population, and dental caries affects 60-80% of our children,” said Hari Parkash, president of the Indian Dental Association and head of dental surgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Malocclusion of teeth is also common among 50% of school children, he said.
“Consumption of tobacco products even among children is causing serious concern and is manifesting itself as oral submucous fibrosis - a precancerous condition,” said Dr Satya Paul Agarwal, director general of health services in the Indian government's ministry of health.
Oral cancer accounts for almost 40% of the total diagnosed cancer cases in India - considered to be one of the highest rates in