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The world has witnessed great advances in the field of medical sciences during past few decades. Yet, despite the remarkable achievements many countries, including Pakistan, have not been able to revel in the benefits of scientific advances and development in health sciences that have improved the quality of life. Our national resources and capacity- financial or material is still not sufficient to ensure access and availability of standard health care for the mass population. Pakistan still faces high disease burden be it due to our socio-cultural determinants such as poverty; lack of education; competing health priorities; cultural restrictions and mistaken perceptions or our lack of public policies and their implementation.

There is a prompt need to understand the causes of high disease burden; realize the short comings of our system and combine individual, professional and community services in order to improve efficiency of our health system. From a broader perspective, within the limited resources of our country and socio-economic conditions of our population, we can mitigate the disease burden if services are oriented towards primary health care and prevention.

Pak Dental Community is committed to improve oral health care by increasing awareness and incorporating proven preventive measures among the people to help reduce oral diseases. Pak Dental Community Foundation (PDCF), the philanthropic arm of PDC, conducts outreach programs in multiple cities of Pakistan and aims for the underprivileged people of our community who lack awareness, are burdened with oral diseases and have no access to treatment. This lack of knowledge and poor oral hygiene practices leads majority of patients at an advanced stage of tooth decay and compromised periodontal health which is usually beyond repair. Changing dietary patterns, cheap availability of betel quid and areca nut, sugar consumption as well as use of tobacco has a negative impact not only on oral health but general well-being. The most significant step to make oral health an essential constituent of general health is to educate the people, enhance the understanding of oral health care need and its relevance to general health.

Another important aspect for dental practitioners and policy makers is to implement eco-friendly practices to ensure that the dentists and their dental teams protect human health and environment while lowering dental office operating cost, which is highly desirable keeping the limited resources of our country and socio-economic status of the population in mind. The right changes in the right areas of our practice can produce big results in provision of health care.

The disease burden in Pakistan is a combination of multiple factors and a wider prospective must be utilized to tackle the situation. Oral diseases such as caries, periodontitis and oral cancer are preventable if basic necessities are made available to the public along with an increase in regulation of services and accountability of health sector. Accentuate the need to initiate a self-sustaining and continuous process of education, prevention, screening and treatment at every level which can be accomplished with the collaboration of our government, dental societies, institutes, practitioners and even students with the appropriate implementation tools. If we generously donate our time, expertise and energy to close the gap between poverty and health care needs by any means possible we can progress to achieve our goal “Health for All” in no time Insha’Allah.

Dr. Faizan Syed
President Pak Dental Community (PDC)

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