Otitis Media and Oral Health in Indigenous Children in Queanbeyan

20 August 2013

With Centre for Oral Health Strategy support, two final year BOH students, Grace Munns and Hogai Popalzay, had the opportunity to collaborate with Angela Masoe of the Local Health District and Paul Hingston, Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer, to develop the Yeddung Guri Yeddung Yerra (Good Ears Good Teeth) program aimed at improving the oral health of Aboriginal children in Queanbeyan.

Grace and Hogai developed a comprehensive literature review defining correlations between otitis media (OM) screening with oral health (OH) assessments in terms of common risk factors and treatment methods. An oral health training package for Aboriginal health workers was then developed and included such resources as a tooth-brushing chart, brochure and oral health assessment guidelines to assist in training Aboriginal Health Care Workers. Oral health education and screenings were performed in non-clinical settings, with the entire project incorporating the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter (1986).

This important step towards oral health education in the community was well received and referral pathways established following screenings.

The continuation of this program is another step in aiding the "closing the gap" program through increasing health awareness and providing opportunity for treatment needs to be addressed in this target group. We are very proud of the fine work undertaken by our Bachelor of Oral Health students.

Contact: Cathryn Forsyth

Phone: 02 9633 2333

Email: 082f3c1a1e141f1f210834234d3d3a755c0f3e5c3c367c32081e434a45