The 2017 PHTT Core Team is excited to announce our third speaker: Dr. Shiamaa Al Mashhadani. As a member of the Dental Services Department at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Dr. Al Mashhadani has spearheaded the ‘Dubai Smiles Healthy’ initiative, and has also been involved in implementing the first oral health survey for the emirate of Dubai in 2013.
Dr. Al Mashhadani’s ‘Dubai Smiles Healthy’ (DSH) program was launched in September 2015 with the goal of improving oral and dental health in Dubai. The initiative emphasizes the integration of dental care education into the syllabi of schools in Dubai, and mainly targets children aged six months to seventeen years old. DSH has three main components: School Practice, Child Health, and School Nurse Training.
The first segment, DSH School Health, focuses on carrying out preventive measures against oral and dental disease in schools around Dubai. In 2015, 433 students received dental checkups and topical fluoride application. The second component, DSH Child Health, took the form of information sessions on proper care for children’s dentition. Held in dental departments of primary health centers around Dubai, these workshops were free of charge and open to the community. The final part of the program, DSH School Nurse Training, provided instruction to 290 school nurses on how to conduct simple oral checkups and oral health promotion sessions.
Throughout Dr. Al Mashhadani’s work with the DSH, a central theme is clear – the understanding of dental and oral health as a lifestyle disease. She is a strong proponent of how effective change can only happen through adjusting daily habits, and of how dental and oral diseases may cause complications with cardiovascular and pulmonary health. We are looking forward to Dr. AlMashhadani’s discussions of the challenges and successes of the ‘Dubai Smiles Healthy’ program at the PHTT 2017. To find out more, click here for her report on the DSH program, or click here for her interview with the Dental Tribune.