Oral health among Liberian refugees in Ghana

Mickenautsch, S, Rudolph M, Ogunbodede E, Chikte U.  1999.  Oral health among Liberian refugees in Ghana, 1999/05/01. East African medical journal. 76:206-11.


To promote community involvement in the provision of oral health services.The project consisted of a four-week training course in oral health for selected refugees, an oral health survey based on WHO guidelines and conducted by the refugees themselves and the provision of oral health care services to the community by the trained refugees.
Liberian refugee camp, Gomoa Buduburam in Ghana.
Liberian refugees of all ages.
Twelve refugees were given short term training in oral health. In the oral health survey, 196 refugees were clinically examined for dental caries, periodontal disease and malocclusion.
DMFT (for dental caries), CPITN (for periodontal disease), and malocclusion scores for selected subjects. Also clinical services rendered.
Oral health survey revealed a mean age (+/- SD) of 25.7 (+/- 9.5) years. Only thirty nine (19.9%) of the subjects were caries-free, and total DMFT was 2.5 +/- 2.2. Based on the CPITN, 107 (54.6%) required oral hygiene instructions (OHI), and 41 (20.9%) required prophylactic scaling with OHI. Forty four (22.5%) of the subjects had normal occlusion and 152 (77.5%) mild to severe malocclusion. Periodontal (75.5%), prosthetic (52.5%) interventions and extractions (34.2%) constituted the bulk of the treatment needs required. Clinical treatment was rendered by the trained refugees to 846 patients over a twelve month period.
Relief programmes for refugees should emphasise a primary health care approach, focusing on prevention, based on appropriate technology, and promoting involvement by the refugee community in the provision of services.