Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries
Ministry of Health/Division of Oral Health - The Dental Service Provider in Palau
In the Republic of Palau, a U.S. Territory in the Pacific Basin, all health care services are under one governmental ministry. The Division of Oral Health (DOH), one of four divisions of the Bureau of Public Health under the Ministry of Health, is the only dental service provider in Palau.
DOH provides both clinical and preventive oral health services to a population of more than 20,000 people. To date, the DOH has 3 local dentists and 1 dentist from Japan who rotates every month to provide services to the community as well as the hospital settings. DOH is also working in collaboration with family planning, Maternal and Child care, Ministry of Education, Head start Program, Primary health care, Geriatric and home health, Tobacco Prevention control, Non-communicable disease prevention as well as other non-governmental organizations. Even though there are 2 private dental clinics in Palau, the Division of Oral Health still continues to provide over 10,000 encounters every year for the services provided. To leverage resources, a key strategy of DOH is integration and collaboration of oral health into programs.
DOH efforts include:
1. DOH utilizes four super dispensaries in the outlying states (outer islands) of Palau to provide community outreach programs. DOH schedules activities with other Bureau of Public Health programs so that these programs’ community outreach efforts include dental services. This collaboration has been very successful over the years.
2. DOH is providing support to the Bureau of Public Health’s new Community Advocacy Program, which promotes preventive health services and increase educational awareness programs for communities. DOH has successfully worked with a local business company to bottle fluoridated drinking water that is widely distributed and sold on the island.
3. A National Strategic Plan is being developed by the Bureau of Public Health. The Plan will include a revised Oral Health Plan for DOH to better serve the people and communities of Palau.
Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:
Dr. Louisa Santos, Community/Outreach Supervisor, Oral Health Division, Ministry of Health P.O. Box 6027, Koror, Republic of Palau, 96940, Phone: (680) 488-2440/2342, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org