Research shows that children in Malawi have better dental health than their counterparts in the United Kingdom.
The study, which was done by Dentaid, a charity organization working on dentistry, revealed that cases of children suffering from serious dental complications are higher in the U.K. compared to Malawi.
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“I have heard dentists saying it is worse than at one of our projects in Malawi,” Detaid’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Evans, told the Mirror in a recent interview.
He said most kids in the U.K. are struggling to eat and live their normal lives due to constant dental pain.
“It’s pain you can’t get away from. Imagine that happening and not being able to access care,” he added.
“The latest stats reveal 160 kids are having teeth removed under general anesthetic in England every day.”
Comparing Apples and Oranges
Even so, general oral hygiene in Malawi still remains extremely poor compared to many other African countries and the world in general.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), recent studies have shown that oral health complications are among the top ten reasons for outpatient attendance in Malawi.
The Center further reports that oral health problems are still a major cause of morbidity particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
“This study demonstrated that oral health problems are major public health problems in Malawi. One in five (21 %) adolescents aged 12–15 years and half (49 %) of adults aged 35 years or more had dental caries, half (48 %) and 80 % of the population aged 35–44, 65–74 years had missing teeth respectively,” NCBI reports.
Part of the reason why oral health problems are still a major issue in Malawi and other parts of Africa is because most people especially in the rural areas still don’t have reliable access to oral healthcare.