Sustainable (‘grass-roots’) approach to Oral Health Promotion Utilising Established NGO and Rural Community Groups




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


The purpose of this research was to examine potential sustainable delivery methods for Oral Health Promotion (OHP) in developing populations in India, utilising non-dental rural community development groups, specifically those led by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) involved in community development. The focus of this research was based on a longitudinal cohort study experimental design for exploratory purposes conducted over a period of one year, using a randomised cluster sampling of community developmental projects within the rural-tribal villages of Ambernath, Maharashtra, India. The study was measured in 4 phases: oral health knowledge of village parents through a questionnaire, dental screenings of children, and integration of a ‘train-the-trainer’ type of Oral Health Awareness Programme (OHAP) for three test groups, followed by one-year comparison follow-up data. Findings show evidence of comprehension and dissemination of the information in the OHAP course. Screening data also showed a reduction in decay in primary and permanent teeth in the children, after one year, and a positive change in oral hygiene behaviours. The collaboration and utilisation of non-dental NGO teams and local participatory groups from a ‘grass-roots’ level was proven to be effective for disseminating information and activities for oral health awareness and promotional programmes within these populations. Evidence supports a collaboration of these groups can be recommended for introducing a structured and understandable oral health programme utilising non-dental NGO and local participatory groups.



oral health promotion, oral disease prevention, NGO, community development, community-based groups, dental awareness, dental disease in rural communities, oral health mind-sets, underserved populations, grass-roots education



Research Institute