Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Government of India

National Oral Health Programme

National Oral Health Programme

India has a high prevalence of oro-dental disease and it is well established that oral diseases are a public health problem and have a great impact on systemic health. Poor oral health can cause poor aesthetics, affects mastication adversely, cause agonizing pain and can lead to loss of productivity due to loss of man-hours.

As per the data from Dental Council of India, there are approximately 1,52,679 registered dentists for the population of about 121 million. Though India is producing a large number of dental graduates, most of the rural areas in the country do not have service providers for common oral diseases and hence about 72.6% of the rural population remains neglected.

Apart from this fact, the issue of accessibility (reaching to the health services) also exists, as it becomes a costly affair for the rural population to seek oral health related treatment. Promotion of healthy lifestyles with respect to oral health needs to be considered. World Health Assembly in 2005 included Oral Health with other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) for health promotion & disease prevention strategies.

Goal of the NOHP

Contribution to healthy India with good oral health through a comprehensive oral health programme

The objectives of the NOHP are as follows:

General Objectives

Improvement of the determinants of oral health in the country by providing comprehensive oral health care through synergistic, equitably distributed general and oral health facilities and coordination with related sectors in public or private

Specific Objectives

a. To improve the determinants of oral health
b. To reduce morbidity from oral diseases by strengthening oral health services at health facilities located in the districts
c. To integrate oral health promotion and preventive services with general health care system and other sectors that influence oral health
d. Integrate Promotion of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) for achieving public health goals

The Strategies of the NOHP

Model Dental Unit

A model dental clinic at least one in each district would be strengthened by  following support:

1. Human Resources: Dental Surgeons, Dental Hygienist & Dental Assistant on contract basis to supplement the efforts of the State/UTs.

2. Logistical Support: One dental chair with supportive equipment’s and materials.

IEC and BCC: shall be conducted through word of mouth, rural outdoor methods and mass media and will be integrated IEC for other programme.

Training: General oral health training of all the health care staff, special training of Nodal Medical Officers

Monitoring, Supervision & Evaluation: The NOHP shall be monitored at all the level from District to Central level utilizing the existing HR support of NCD Cell and under the program.

The National Oral Health Cell

Chief Medical Officer looking after National Oral Health Programme reports to Deputy Director General (Non-communicable Diseases) who in turn report to Director General of Health Services through Special DG (Public Health).

The division along with the counterparts in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, looking after National Oral Health Programme [headed by the concerned Joint Secretary] runs the oral health programme.

Roll out of the NOHP

Under this programme, during the XII Five period, a total of 200 districts would be supported with a dental unit [manpower (dentist, dental hygienist and dental assistant), some listed equipments like dental chair, basic supporting equipments, consumables etc,].

The division would be monitoring the implementation of the programme by the State Governments. The division would also coordinate with identified Institutes for designing of IEC, Training of trainers, conducting researches in Oral Health.

National Oral Health Programme is being launched for the first time as a National Programme in FY 2014-15. The program constitutes two separate activities i.e (i) activities up to district level which is under the umbrella of NHM (having 12th plan out lay of Rs.81 Crore) and (ii) Tertiary level activities (containing State Level and Central Level activities) (having 12th plan out lay of Rs.19 Crore).

The Centre for Dental Education and Research [CDER], AIIMS has been nominated as the National Centre of Excellence to assist the National Oral Health Cell in rolling out the programme.

Progress in the FY 2014-15

NHM Component: As on 31st March 2015, funds to the tune of Rs 1.72 Crore have been released to 9 States [Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Gujarat, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh].

NOHP has been able to support the States/UTs to start new or augment the existing dental care units in the public health facilities at District/Sub district level.

In the process 18 health facilities have received support fully/partially to strengthen the oral health care service for the community.
Central Component: Grant to the tune of Rs 1.01 Crore has been released to CDER to develop IEC materials, training module through an MoU. AIIMS initiated the activities for generation of IEC materials.

Progress in the FY 2015-16

NHM Component: Proposals from 29 states/UTs were received through main and supplementary PIPs demanding grants to the tune of Rs 80.9 Crore to strengthen oral health care delivery at public health facilities. A total approval of Rs 25.13Crore for 26 states/UTs has been given to support proposed activities of NOHP. Grants have been released to the states/UTs under Health System Strengthening (HSS) of Mission flexipool under NHM.

Central Component:

  • A state nodal officers meeting was conducted on 13th & 14th July 2015, to discuss the existing oral health manpower, infrastructure in the states/UTs and review the progress made by the states. Another National workshop for the state nodal officers is planned from 15th February to 17th February 2016 at NIHFW for enhancing the managerial skills of program management for NOHP.
  • IEC materials in the form posters, leaflets have been developed and final approval has been obtained. 3,21,000 posters have been disseminated to 10 states e.g Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Sikkim, Nagaland & Delhi in 1st phase for wide spread awareness generation and publicity of the program.
  • On the occasion of World Oral Health Day on 20th March 2016, a SMS campaign was planned for creating awareness on oral health and 5,37,00,000 SMS messages were pushed to mobile users across 22 states of the country.
  • The final report of the task force has been submitted to MoHFW by the taskforce committee on following aspects

            1. Current and future needs for dental professionals

            2. Infrastructural assessment and requirements for restructuring of

            dental care delivery system.

           3. Integration of oral health into national health programs.