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South African Dental Journal

On-line version ISSN 0375-1562
Print version ISSN 0011-8516


THEMA, KL  and  SINGH, S. Oral health service delivery in Limpopo Province. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2017, vol.72, n.7, pp.310-314. ISSN 0375-1562.

There is little published evidence on the current state of oral health service delivery in Limpopo Province. AIM AND OBJECTIVES: To assess oral health service delivery in the public sector in Limpopo Province. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a cross-sectional, explorative and descriptive study using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data to assess oral health service delivery. Data collection included self-administered questionnaires, a face-to-face interview and statistical records on oral health services. Convenience sampling was used to select oral health care workers (n=84) and purposive sampling to select Oral Health District Managers (n=5). An in-depth face- to- face interview was conducted with the Provincial Oral Health Manager. RESULTS: The most common clinical procedure was dental extractions (ranging from 59% to 85% of the total headcount for patient visits in the identified month). Less than a quarter of respondents (n=19, 23%) indicated that dental resources were adequate and fewer that resources were easily available (n=17, 21%). Themes arising from data analysis included lack of policy support; no dedicated funding; and poor oral health representation within different levels of the health system. CONCLUSION: There is an urgent need for re-orientation of oral health services towards prevention and promotion.

Keywords : Oral health services; oral health care workers; dental resources; oral health decision-making.

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