Oral health care delivery in Ghana - the case of Tamale Municipality

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Oral Health Care delivery is an important aspect of the Delivery of general care in the country. However, this aspect of the care seems neglected. To date no situation Analysis has been carried out for improvements to be made to the service in Tamale municipality, even though Clinical Data point to increasing deterioration. In this study the factors affecting Oral Health Care delivery have been examined and recommendations made. The study was a cross-sectional descriptive one involving collection of Data from various sources, Oral Health Survey of twelve years old and fifteen year olds to determine the disease burden, interviews and questionnaires. Results obtained indicated the following: 1. Oral Health Care delivery faces problems of lack of Policy guidelines, lack of budget allocation, lack of personnel and lack of oral Health Care promotion activities. There is also a low priority given to the sector by Health managers. 2 There is a high prevalence of oral diseases in the municipality Prevalence levels ranged from 52% to 68% for periodontal disease and 12% to 24% for caries. 3. Knowledge and attitudes of patients toward Oral Health are poor. Pain is the greatest compelling factor for utilization of the service (85%). 4. Public Dental Health is much more important to health needs than clinical work, which only deals with a small portion of the disease burden. 5. Knowledge and attitudes of Teachers and community /Public Health Nurses are excellent and this could be tapped for the general benefit of the community.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science in Health Services Planning and Management, 2000