GUM infections have been reported to affect more than 80 per cent of Tanzanians aged above 45, it was revealed in Arusha during the climax of the annual Oral Health Day 2019.
"Despite being serious, gum diseases, including sores, blisters and swells are never really being addressed or given the medical attention they deserve," the President of Oral Health Experts Association of Tanzania, Dr Ambege Mwakatobe, pointed out.
The expert added that the diseases are correlated with other health concerns such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke and other heart diseases and according to Dr Mwakatobe, majority of Tanzanians hardly attend medical check-ups, thus amplifying the problem.
Meanwhile also, mouth related maladies are also reported to be dogging most Tanzanians though such problems remain the elephant in the health room, but to offset that, the government has set aside 1.4 billion/- in this fiscal year's budget to combat such diseases.
The peak of the World Oral Health Day climaxed in Arusha with free testing and treatment of mouth related problems for hundreds of city residents here.
The event was held here for three days, at the Meru Primary School grounds. It was observed there that researches conducted in 31 countries worldwide, have shown that gum diseases rank in the sixth position out of the 291 listed maladies, thus deserving to be treated among the leading health problems affecting nations today.
Dr Omar Chande, the Acting Arusha Regional Medical Officer revealed that Arusha has 57 oral health experts, while there are 33 medical stations both public and private, dedicated to provide related mouth disease treatment and care.
"We recently received medical equipment worth 60 million/- from the central government all devoted to handle oral care, hygiene and treatment of mouth related diseases," stated Dr Chande, adding that the region also boasts a special oral care medical laboratory built at the cost of 70 million/-.
The Arusha Urban District Commissioner, Gabriel Daqarro, who officiated the free oral medical check-up exercise in Arusha, which has so far reached out to around 50,000 residents, said the government has set aside over 1.4 billion/- to cater for the provision of oral health and treatment among Tanzanians.