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Human Resource Cadre in Oral Health Services to be Improved PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 10:12

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson says he remains committed to addressing the issues related to access to good health care inclusive of good oral health care through the development of oral health services in the public sector. Speaking this afternoon at the official launch of the University Diabetes Outreach Programme’s 19 th Annual International Diabetes Outreach Conference scheduled for March, Dr. Ferguson highlighted Human Resource challenges as one of the pressing issues.


“The current ratio of one dentist to 17,000 personswill have a significant impact on how we deal with Diabetes and Oral Health issues.  I have started to look at the human resource cadre and already forged important bilateral partnerships to improve the situation,” he said.


Meanwhile, Dr. Ferguson lauded the organisers of the conference for the focus this year on oral health as an important plank in the management and prevention of diabetes through its theme “Diabetes and Oral Health”.


“Oral health has languished for years, not getting the recognition it deserves given the important role it plays and will continue to play in our efforts to reduce the prevalence of NCDs.  I am thrilled that for the first time a conference of this scope is bridging this gap and including oral health as an important part of the NCDs discussion.  This has been recognised globally as the UN Political Declaration on NCDs speaks to the need to forge partnerships within every sector and the vital role oral health practitioners have to play in the reduction of the prevalence of these diseases,” he said.


Dr. Ferguson pointed out that there is a strong relationship between oral health and diabetes. Oral Health Care Practitioners have observed significant periodontal changes that have aided in the diagnosis and management of diabetes as certain oral health conditions are the first manifestations of the disease.  Periodontal Disease is the sixth complication of Diabetes.


In addition to the high mortality, data show that diabetes is associated with high morbidity including ischemic heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, amputation, eye disease, renal disease and peripheral neuropathy. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus in Jamaica is now estimated as 7.9% among persons 15-74 years old. In addition, 2.8% of the population has pre-diabetes. Diabetes was ranked as the leading cause of death among women and the third leading cause of death for men in 2009.


Dr. Ferguson said the Ministry is making every effort to reduce the prevalence of diabetes and other NCDs by at least 25 percent by 2025 as part of a global commitment.


The University Diabetes Outreach Programme’s 19th Annual International Diabetes Outreach Conference, is to be held at the Sunset Jamaica Grand hotel in Ocho Rios, St. Ann on March 21-23, 2013 and is being organized by the University of Technology, the University of the West Indies, UDOP, the Diabetes Association of Jamaica, the Jamaica Association of Public Dental Surgeons as well as all the other partners including the Ministry of Health.



 Contact: MOH, Public Relations Unit Tel: 967-1561

You can view this press release and other information on our website at


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