HUNDREDS attended a state-level dental healthcare campaign held at SMK Choong Hua in Bidor.
The event last Sunday featured a carnival-like atmosphere with buskers performing and balloons given away by clowns.
Other activities included a colouring contest, lucky draw, blood donation drive, health exhibition, free pap smear test and also a giveaway of eggs.
The campaign, which was launched by Perak Health Committee Chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, was jointly organised by the State Health Department, Ju Shi Lin Buddhist Association and the Kinta District Welfare and Recreation Club, to increase awareness of dental healthcare.
Dr Mah said the level of oral healthcare among the public was still low.
He said the national health and morbidity survey in 2015 showed that only three out of 10 Malaysians visited a dentist in 2014.
“This means that the awareness of dental healthcare is still low.
“Oral diseases share the same risk factors as diabetes or cancer from smoking, and can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle, which includes a balanced diet, exercise and regular check-ups,” he added.
During the event Dr Mah also revealed other health statistics for the state.
He said about 3% of those aged between 13 and 17 in the state were smokers.
“Out of the 177,593 youths in the state, about 5,000 of them smoke. Nearly 700 of them have registered with our Quit Smoking Clinic with 219 having successfully kicked away the bad habit,” he said.
As for diabetes, Dr Mah said, according to the National Diabetic Registry, there are 146,591 patients in the state.
“About 6.6% or 9,626 have retinopathy, which means there are problems with their blood vessels, which could then lead to other complications like vision loss,” he added.
Dr Mah said the Health Ministry will continue to beef up awareness campaigns to promote dental healthcare to the public.
“The people too, must also be vigilant about their own health and to look after themselves properly,” he said.