167878 Improving oral health and access to dental care for Somali children

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Homa Amini, DDS, MPH, MS , Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
Paul S. Casamassimo, DDS, MS , Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
Despite the overall decline in dental caries over the past 30 years, the prevalence of this disease remains high in certain segments of population including immigrant and refugee children. About 40,000 Somalis live in Columbus, Ohio, making the city home to the second largest group of Somalis in the United States. The purpose of this project was to improve oral health of Somali children in Central Ohio through education, community outreach and provision of needed dental services. Funding for this project was obtained through a private foundation and charitable contributions. Collaborative partnerships were formed with Nationwide Children's Hospital, Somali Women and Children's Alliance, Columbus Literacy Council, and Ohio State University Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program. The project targeted Somali children enrolled in a community after school program and incorporated an oral health curriculum in their lesson plans including oral hygiene instructions, diet education, distribution of fluoride toothpaste and toothbrushes, dental screenings, and fluoride varnish application. Children identified with dental needs were connected to a pediatric dental home through a case-manager and received comprehensive dental care. This presentation will discuss program components, outcomes, and implications for oral health interventions for immigrant population.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss steps taken to implement a community-based oral health program for Somali children 2. Articulate lessons learned, including barriers and pitfalls 3. Discuss the financing mechanism 4. Describe program components and outcomes

Keywords: Access and Services, Oral Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the primary person in charge of developing and implementing this outreach project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Oral Health Poster Session II
See more of: Oral Health