Malawi government has admitted that the country has only ten active dentists and has one of the highest dentist-population ratios in the world. As the population is estimated at 16 million, Malawi may rank poorly on the international scale as regards to dental and oral hygiene.
Minister of health Peter Kumpalume confirmed the development and said the situation is worrying and stressing and demands urgent measures to address.
“Worse still only three of the available ten work in the public sector and the rest in private and the dental equipments in the public health needs replacement,” Kumpalume said.
Five of the available dentists are foreign experts and with the current population this means one dentist needs to serve about 1.6 million people, contrary to World Health Organisation (WHO) standard of 1 dentist to 100, 000 people.
According to WHO 90 percent of the world’s population is affected by oral diseases which are preventable.