President announces reopening of school dental service |24 June 2022
President Wavel Ramkalawan announced the reopening of the school dental service during his live press conference on Monday this week.
The president made the announcement in response to questions asked by journalist Ralph Volcère raising concerns regarding the nonfunctioning of school dental clinics.
The president’s announcement puts an end to concerns raised on social media by parents about the closure of school dental services.
The president explained that all services were gradually opening as the Covid-19 situation is now under control and the Ministry of Health is resuming its normal activities.
He also explained that fever clinics were now closing and those health centres are resuming their normal duties.
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, dental services operated on an emergency basis and school dental services ground to a halt as therapists were deployed for registering patients visiting clinics, making temperature checks and ensuring compliance with sanitizing procedures as well as conducting PCR tests, or Covid-related data entry laboratory work.
The reopening of the school dental service and the president’s pronouncement that all dental clinics in schools with [dental] chairs will resume services as normal is welcome news to parents as the facility on school premises reduces leave from work to accompany their children to community health centres as well as time away from classes and the school premises by the children.
The services provided before closure of the clinics were both check-ups and treatment. With children’s needs much higher than before the Covid outbreak and those from Crèche to P1 yet to receive oral care and introduced to good oral hygiene, parents are keen that their children return to the care of familiar and trusted therapists and expecting that full services will resume soon.
The reopening of the school clinics will, however, require attention given to repairs, maintenance of equipment and upgrading as they have been in disuse for almost 2 years of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The school dental service which commenced dental services in schools in 1992 now provides oral health services to children from crèche, primary and secondary schools on some school premises and is considered a model of excellence in our region.