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Undertaking research in Papua New Guinea: The oral health of school children on and near the Kokoda Track


Golpak, Y and Siddiqi, M and Crocombe, LA, Undertaking research in Papua New Guinea: The oral health of school children on and near the Kokoda Track, International Association of Dental Research, Australian and New Zealand Divisional Meeting, 25-27 September, Adelaide, South Australia (2017) [Conference Extract]

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Aim: To determine the oral health status of Kokoda school children and describe the difficulties of undertaking research in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Methods: School children in the villages in the Kokoda catchment area in the Sohe district in Oro Province were selected to participate in the study that entailed a questionnaire and an epidemiological survey.

Results: 643 subjects in fifteen schools were selected, 492 students examined and 461 analysed. The students' ages ranged from 3-23 years and the mean age was 12.3 years. The vast majority (92.2%) of the students had never visited a dentist. Three-fifths (60.3%) of the students cleaned their teeth at least once a day, many using a toothbrush (66.5%) and fluoride toothpaste (65.2%). The vast majority of the students said they eat sweet biscuits and cream buns (89.6%), consumed soft drinks (87.9%), or chewing gum containing sugar (85.5%) several times a month. The mean dmft was 0.68 and the mean DMFT was 0.97. A third (33.3%) of the students had bleeding gums and a quarter (26.5%) had calculus present. Only a third (36%) of the students did not require any treatment.

Access to the internet for background reading was poor. Papers were damaged at a wet crossing on the way to Kanga Village. The visit to the school in Azimba Village, a two-day walk from Kanga village, had to be cancelled because the school was closed at the time of the study due to heavy rain.

Conclusions: The dental caries experience in and near the Track was low, but the consumption of sweet foods was high and the majority of children required dental treatment. There were difficulties in undertaking research in PNG.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Papua New Guinea, oral health, research
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Dentistry
Research Field:Dentistry not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Siddiqi, M (Dr Mahmood Siddiqi)
UTAS Author:Crocombe, LA (Associate Professor Leonard Crocombe)
ID Code:133854
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2019-07-12
Last Modified:2019-07-12
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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