The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the 6th Convocation of MDS and 11th Convocation of BDS Courses at the Army College of Dental Sciences, Secunderabad today (December 23, 2016).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said unless citizens enjoy good health, their productive potential cannot be realized fully. It is important to ensure adequate coverage of the population with quality healthcare infrastructure. We have over 300 dental colleges in the country producing around 30,000 dentists annually. These numbers are somewhat inadequate as the ‘dentist to patient’ ratio is small, particularly in the suburban and rural areas. As against an already low ratio of 1:8,000 in urban areas, the dentist to population ratio is acute in rural areas with one dentist for every 50,000 people.
The President said it has become imperative to initiate awareness drives and reach out to the population that has so far been excluded from dental care services. We have to start from a basic level, by educating parents and teachers on proper oral healthcare regime and ensure that good practices are inculcated in large number of children. To reach out effectively to the under-privileged and backward sections of our population, we have to employ simpler methods for them to remember and benefit from. Video aid and demonstration will enhance the knowledge of people on this subject. To develop a culture of oral health in our society, we have to create a mindset that understands the importance of improving personal oral hygiene.