Tobacco cessation through use of oral health care providers in Kenya
Background: In addition to being a risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and pulmonary pathology, tobacco’s oral effects vary from altered smell and taste sensation to dental staining, periodontitis, oral cancer and developmental defects due to maternal tobacco use. The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Oral Health Program has identified the implementation of tobacco use prevention and cessation (TUPAC) counseling guidelines as one of the priority goals in dentistry.
Objectives: The project aims at evaluating the effect of a training program in tobacco use prevention and cessation (TUPAC) on the uptake and participation of oral health care providers (OHCP) in tobacco control. After training and mobilization of OHCP with competence in tobacco use prevention and cessation (TUPAC) counseling, the number of patients abstaining from or reducing tobacco use will increase.
Methods: This will be an intervention study where OHCP will be trained in TUPAC, and changes in competence levels will be assessed before and after the intervention. The study population will be undergraduate Bachelor of Dental Surgery and Community Oral Health students in the clinical years, post-graduate Dental Students, Dental interns, Dentists and Community Oral Health officers in the 47 counties in Kenya.
Perceived Benefits: The study will form an evidence base for recommendation of the use of oral health care providers in reduction and control of tobacco, which in turn will lead to reduction in tobacco related morbidity and mortality.
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