Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Wednesday said that tobacco use has been estimated to account for over 90 per cent of oral cancer cases recorded in the country annually.
This worrisome situation, he said, could be reversed through deliberate actions carried out to motivate people to change unhealthy habits and also improve their oral hygiene behaviours.
To this end, Ehanire, while speaking at a workshop organised by the Dental Therapists Registration Board of Nigeria (DTRBN) in Abuja, urged allied dental professionals in the country to develop skills that enhance their practice and above all improve the oral health of Nigerians.
“Many epidemiological surveys show the significant role socio-behavioural and environmental factors in the occurrence of oral disease.
“Tobacco use has been estimated to account for over 90 percent of cancers in the oral cavity and is associated with aggravated periodontal breakdown, poorer standard of oral hygiene and consequently premature tooth loss.
“I, therefore, urge you to adopt counselling methods that help people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivations they need to change their behaviours,” the Minister said.
Speaking on the theme of the workshop: “Motivational Interviewing and Oral Health Behaviour; the Evidence, Eminence, and Exigence”, the Registrar of DTRBN, Mrs Mercy Ojo said the aim was to present evidence-based information so that dental professionals can make informed decisions regarding patient’s treatment and recommendations.