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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 18  |  Page : 557-563

Dental surgeons as public health professionals in India under the guidance of medical officers - The need to learn basics in epidemic management

1 Reader and Head, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, National Dental College and Hospital, Derabasi, Punjab, India
2 Medical Officer, PCMH, Punjab Civil Medical Services, PHC, Lami, India
3 Medical Officer, Harayana Civil Medical Services, Hifar, India

Correspondence Address:
Satpreet Singh
Reader and Head, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, National Dental College and Hospital, Derabasi, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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India is a huge country and face diverse health care problems. India is facing an acute shortage ofHealth Professionals including Public Health professionals. It is important for all health care professionalsto have a fundamental knowledge of dealing with outbreaks so that they can act fast and prevent as muchdamage as possible. The dental surgeons in India can be a great source of motivation in public healthcare because now they form a sizable chunk of health care professionals and a basic knowledge in epidemicmanagement for them can definitely help in timely intervention and prevent any further loss in emergencysituations. India is adding 23000 dentists annually and approximately 1.8 lakh dentists are registered withstate dental councils.The threats from all diseases and bio-terrorism are real and we should be prepared for any eventuality.An effective public health system in place can prevent as well as control an outbreak. Epidemiologyprovides the scientific basis, the systematic approach, and the prevention orientations that are needed. Bythis paper, we seek to provide basic information in a simple way to all health care professionals includingDentists in their fight to prevent and control of an outbreak. We are requesting policy makers at all levelsin India to work on legislation to mandate Dentists as Public Health Professionals in emergencies workingdirectly under Medical Officers posted in PHC's. In addition, it will create more oral care awareness also.

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