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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 231-241

Oral health system in Myanmar: A review


1 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Prince of Songkla University, Hatyai, Songkhla, Thailand; Department of Medical Service, Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS), Naypyitaw, Myanmar
2 Evidence-Based Dentistry for Oral Health Care and Promotion Research Unit, Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Prince of Songkla University, Hatyai, Songkhla, Thailand
3 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Prince of Songkla University, Hatyai, Songkhla, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sukanya Tianviwat
Evidence-Based Dentistry for Oral Health Care and Promotion Research Unit, Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Prince of Songkla University, Hatyai, Songkhla 90110
Thailand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_438_20

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Objectives: The study aims at reviewing Myanmar’s current situation to consider an improved oral health system and at promoting the oral health status of the Myanmar population. Materials and Methods: This review was conducted using the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) six building blocks of the health system: oral health-care service delivery, dental workforce, oral health information system, essential medicine, health financing, and leadership and governance. The review was established on scientific articles and documents and information from reliable government and nongovernment organizations’ websites. Results: According to the National Oral Health Survey (2016–2017), the prevalence rate of untreated caries in six-year-old Myanmar children (84.1%), and in the 35–44 and 65–74 age group (above 40%) is high, which reflects a low utilization of oral health-care services. The dentist to population ratio is approximately 1:16,000: There are around 5,000 dentists and 400 trained dental nurses in Myanmar, and only about 1,000 dentists serve in government sectors. The inequalities in dental health care are compounded by a limited dental workforce and inequality of dentists between the public and private sectors in Myanmar. In the last National Health Plan (NHP, 2006–2011), the Myanmar government’s funding for required dental equipment and materials in each dental unit (around 5726 USD) has been considered inadequate. The current expenditure is not transparent. The other challenges are an insufficient supply of dental materials and instruments to all public dental sectors and a lack of oral health-care infrastructure. Conclusions: Such findings suggest a pressing need to address the effective oral health-care system and decree the specific goals for the Myanmar population’s oral health.


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