Online Program

Oral health status, behaviors and knowledge among HIV-positive children in addis ababa, Ethiopia

Monday, November 4, 2013

Delia Burnett, MPH, Graduate School of Public Health, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Jane Aronson, DO, Worldwide Orphans Foundation, Maplewood, NJ
Ramin Asgary, MD, MPH, Dept of Medicine, New York University, New York, NY
Introduction: Data on oral health status in Ethiopia is scarce especially among marginalized children. Methods: A cross sectional study using a comprehensive questionnaire and oral exam of 132 children aged 6-15 was performed in Addis Ababa in summer 2011 to assess oral health practices, gross dental decay, and barriers to oral health. Results: Overwhelming majority were HIV-positive and orphaned. Mean age was 10 years; 50% female. 48% didn't brush teeth and only 43% brushed once a day. Majority continued to consume sugary food despite the knowledge of its relationship with dental decay. 55% had between 2-13 dental caries, and 52% showed bleeding upon brushing. 78% didn't clean between teeth and were more likely to consume sugary food (p<0.05) and to have oral pain within last 6 months (p<0.01). Males were more likely to clean teeth and have knowledge of relationship between sugary food and dental decay (p<0.05). Positive view of health of teeth and gum was correlated with knowledge about sugary food. Children were more likely to have decreased number of teeth when no one had taught them how to brush, and/or brushing tools were expensive. Logistic regression did not produce any other significant correlations. Conclusions: High rates of gross decay and gum diseases among children are worrisome. Global oral health has been overlooked especially among marginalized populations that face significant barriers for preventative and curative oral care. Targeted health education programs and better access to preventive tools and dental care for orphans and HIV affected children is warranted.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss oral health practices, rate of dental decay and barriers to oral health among children in Addis Ababa. List strategies to improve oral health practices and preventive care among children.

Keyword(s): Oral Health, International

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have solid experience in performing public health research and have worked with underserved populations nationally and internationally. I designed the study, performed all the research, analyzed data and drafted and finalized the abstract.
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.