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Prenatal oral health: geo-spatial analysis of access to care

Authors:

Nirosha Ranasinghe ,

National Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS), Kalutara, LK
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Estie Kruger,

The University of Western Australia, AU
About Estie
International Research Collaborative – Oral Health and Equity, School of Human Sciences
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Marc Tennant

The University of Western Australia, AU
About Marc
International Research Collaborative – Oral Health and Equity, School of Human Sciences
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Abstract

Introduction: Prenatal oral care is important for both the oral and general health of the woman and the offspring and it should be maintained throughout the life course.

 

Objectives: To determine the distribution of both hospital and community dental care facilities for the provision of oral healthcare to antenatal mothers referred to the maternal and child health (MCH) clinics, in the district of Gampaha, Sri Lanka

 

Methods: All the MCH clinics and all available public dental care facilities were mapped using Geographic Information System (GIS) software, and the minimum referral distance was measured from each MCH clinic to the nearest public dental clinic using the distance-based GIS tools.

 

Results: The referral distance reported from an MCH clinic to a public dental clinic varied between 0- 8.5 km. About 22% (n=37) of the MCH clinics had an in-house or proximate dental facility not more than 1 km away. About 41% (n=69) of MCH clinics had a public dental clinic within a 2.5 km distance, and it increased up to 81% (n=136) when the referral distance expanded up to 5km. The average referral distance for pregnancy oral healthcare in the entire district was 3 km.

 

Conclusions: The study identified service disparities in pregnancy oral healthcare in the district using geo-spatial techniques. It could contribute to future planning of hospital and community based dental clinic locations for antenatal mothers, emphasising the importance of referral distance in improving the dental attendance among pregnant women.

How to Cite: Ranasinghe, N., Kruger, E. and Tennant, M., 2020. Prenatal oral health: geo-spatial analysis of access to care. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, 26(3), pp.163–169. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v26i3.8228
Published on 30 Nov 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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