The Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine (HBMCDM) yesterday released initial clinical data from ongoing dental screenings under the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Oral Hygiene Initiative, which was announced in May by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.
The clinical data is based on 14 screening sessions conducted for 700 workers for the period ending 31st July, 2015. The first phase will conclude by year-end with screening and treatment of more than 2,000 workers.
The Initiative is in collaboration with the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs (PCLA) in Dubai, and the Dubai Dental Clinic (DDC), the clinical entity of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine at Dubai Healthcare City, which provides specialised dental services.
Saif Bin Markhan Al Ketbi, Director-General, Office of the Crown Prince of Dubai, said, "Together with our stakeholders, we will ensure that workers too can benefit from oral treatment that can be prohibitively expensive."
Al Ketbi extended praise and gratitude to Sheikh Hamdan for launching this unique humanitarian initiative to make Dubai one of the happiest cities in the world. He said, "We are committed to achieving our goal of screening more than 2,000 workers. In addition, the visits by the clinical teams to various camps have been an effective method to improve overall oral hygiene standards in Dubai."
As per the clinical data collected after informed consent from 700 male workers screened, the majority – close to 500 were referred to a dental hygienist for scaling to remove dental plaque and tartar (calculus) and for oral hygiene instruction on how to care for teeth and gum tissue. Over 350 were diagnosed with tooth decay (dental caries) that required fillings, and 100 had extensive caries requiring root canal therapy.
Gum (periodontal) disease was common and diagnosed in close to 300 workers who needed periodontal assessment and therapy. Severe dental problems were found in 250 workers who required dental extraction whereas close to 200 workers had missing teeth requiring fixed or removable dental prostheses.
The screenings under the Oral Hygiene Initiative include dental check-ups, and oral hygiene instructions. Screenings are conducted by a team comprising faculty, residents and dental hygienists along with dental assistants and administrative staff.
"It is an honour to be entrusted with the responsibility to help improve the health status of workers." said Her Excellency Dr Raja Al Gurg, Vice-Chairperson and Executive Director of Dubai Healthcare City Authority. "An ethical responsibility of the healthcare profession is public welfare, and the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Oral Hygiene Initiative provides access to specialised dental treatment to an important section of our society."
Dr. Amer Ahmad Sharif, Managing Director - Education, Dubai Healthcare City, explained that the dentists pursuing postgraduate programmes at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine, the first college of the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBR-UMHS), demonstrate the need for dental specialisation. "The dental specialisation broadens the understanding of not only clinical expertise but of social issues related to the general health and wellbeing of our community," he said.
The HBMCDM offers six postgraduate programmes in periodontics, prosthodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, and oral surgery accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR). The College has 60 enrolments as of June 2015.
Major General Obaid Moheir Bin Suroor, Chairman, Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in Dubai, said, "By targeting the needs of people from this community, we are hoping to increase the levels of oral health. It is the ongoing mission of the Committee to support awareness campaigns for workers' safety, health and rights."
In 2014, as part of its CSR commitment, the Dubai Dental Clinic screened more than 1,400 members of the community, including school students, workers, and children with special needs, and held health education sessions on how to maintain a healthy smile.