The Ministry of Health has called on undergraduates to consider enrolling in dental programs in various institutions of higher learning in order to boost the population of dental experts in the labour force.
The Ministry’s Spokesperson, Adrian Chikumbe said this following an outcry that there shortage of dental experts in the country’s public hospitals.
According to the National Oral Health Services, the country has eight dental experts and each attends to at least 100 patients in a day.
Chikumbe told YFM that this is because many young people are not willing to take up the program in universities.
“The problem is health work is a calling, so having a low number of dentists is because many people do not enroll in such programs, so we are forced to employ and work with the few who are trained and certified,” he said.
Chikumbe added: “The only way to remedy the situation is to urge and encourage people to enroll in dental programs in the universities.”
A study on the status of dental and oral health in Malawi and its implication in achieving global health goals shows that 21 % of adolescents aged 12–15 years and 49 % of adults aged 35 years or more have dental caries.