Opinion Piece Highlights 5 Government-Led Interventions To Help Reverse Dental Health Inequity

Devex: Opinion: Tooth decay is a disease of inequality. Here’s how governments can improve dental care
Ifeanyi M. Nsofor, CEO of EpiAFRIC, director of policy and advocacy at Nigeria Health Watch, 2019 Atlantic Fellow for health equity at George Washington University, and 2018 New Voices fellow at the Aspen Institute

“…Tooth decay is one of the most common and neglected noncommunicable diseases. It is a disease of inequity, disproportionately affecting some of the world’s poorest people. This should not be allowed to continue. … To reverse this dental health inequity, there are five interventions that governments, particularly those in Africa and Asia, should consider: 1. Provide dental care prevention in communities where people reside … 2. Get kids into school and provide dental care there … 3. Impose a ‘sweet tax’ on companies that produce sugary drinks and other candies … 4. African governments must train more dentists and assistant dentists to meet the current deficit … 5. Universal health coverage must be the long-term solution to reverse dental health inequities … None of these suggestions will be easy to implement, but the global health community knows that with persistence and political will, the battle can be won eventually” (8/7).