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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 173-182

Strengthening the oral health system in Nigeria: A health systems building block approach


1 Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
2 Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
3 Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Science, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
4 Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
5 Department of Child Dental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Mcking Izeiza Amedari
Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_127_22

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Aim: The present study aimed to describe the building blocks of the oral health system, including the role that the community plays in strengthening the oral health system in Nigeria. Methodology: This research was a scoping review of the existing literature retrieved from search engines and databases. Thus, we utilised grey literature, peer-reviewed literature, policy documents and websites. The oral health system was analysed using the World Health Organisation's Health systems framework, and we adapted this framework by introducing a seventh block, community participation. We also inserted the links between the oral health service delivery and oral health workforce blocks of the framework to improve the oral health outcomes. Results: More dental clinics are required to improve the availability and accessibility of oral health services. Dental workforce expansion is imperative. This can be approached by training of junior cadre dental professionals and incorporating community health practitioners to deliver basic oral care. There is an unregulated access to medication to treat dental conditions; hence, oral disease treatments need to be included in the country's treatment guidelines to improve standard of care. The government needs to improve on overall health spending and invariably increase oral health care allocation urgently. Furthermore, the country's stewardship of oral health care is hinged on well disseminated and implemented national policies on oral health. The oral health system can achieve its overall goals with community participation, engagement and ownership. Conclusion: Strengthening the oral health system in Nigeria requires urgent attention on each building block and cross-cutting interventions across the system's building blocks. The role of the community will need to be recognised because it is vital in sustaining any organisational change.


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