A Lagos lawmaker, Mr Gbolahan Yishawu, on Wednesday called for the inclusion of dental healthcare in the health insurance scheme to alleviate the oral discomfort.
Yishawu, representing Eti-Osa Constituency II at the Lagos Assembly, spoke at the third edition of his “GOY Free Dental Healthcare for 2000 Constituents’’ held at the Federal Civil Service Club, Ikoyi, Lagos.
NAN reports that the six week medical intervention provided free tooth extractions, filling, scaling and polishing for the residents.
Yishawu, who is the Chairman, House Ad hoc Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, said that dental care should be sustained by the government and philanthropic individuals.
“Mouth is the part of the body we use very often. Though, it is very useful, we rely on it so much and we neglected it so much.
“Also, we found out that most health insurance policies do not cover dental service.
“We thought it wise to care for this part of the body as a form of care for the people.
“When anyone has issues with the mouth, such person will be uncomfortable generally. We want to ensure that mouth is well taken care of.
“Dental healthcare should be included in all Health Insurance Scheme because many people are suffering from dental issues.
“It is key and should be included in the health insurance scheme, but most schemes don’t cover it, maybe because it is expensive,’’ he said.
According to him, government just takes care of basic health issues and neglects the mouth because it does not kill, but only brings lots of discomfort to people.
On his assessment of healthcare services in the state, Yishawu said that the state had done so much in building, equipping health facilities and staff to ensure quality healthcare delivery.
“The state government is already implementing its Health Insurance Scheme, which will give residents free healthcare services within the state,’’ he said.
Yishawu said that the next phase of his medical intervention would be eye treatment.
The lawmaker said that he had facilitated a lot of projects for his people aside representing their interests in the House.
He highlighted such projects to include vocational training like sewing, barbing, hair dressing, carpentry, provision of school buses and water.
In his remarks, Dr Tunde Banjo, the Chief Dentist in charge of the exercise, said: “this free dental healthcare will improve the oral health status of the people.
“Lots of people cannot afford dental treatment, because it is expensive.
“We are treating over 2,000 patients.
“If this kind of programme is sustained yearly, in the next four or five years, we will have improved dental health status for the people.’’
Another dentist, Dr Segun Banjo, said that many people suffered dental problems due to lack of knowledge, urging them to take oral health serious.
Banjo said brushing teeth at night was even more important than in the morning.
He advised people to brush their teeth twice a day and avoid the usage of hard brush.
“Hard brush does not do any good to us. The prevalent issues here are tooth extractions and general cleaning of the mouth, replacement of teeth among other therapies,’’ he said.
An elderly woman, Mrs Mutiat Gafaru, who benefitted from the programme, had her two teeth removed and replaced.
Gafaru therefore commended the lawmaker for the gesture.
Another beneficiary, Mr Solomon Oluwabiyi, said that he received N27, 000 worth of services free from the programme.
Also, Miss Fatima Taiwo, a student, said that she came for consultation on filling and polishing.
Taiwo said that the service would have cost her N15, 000 in the hospital.