ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has held workshop on dental problems in hemophiliacs organized by the Hemophilia Centre. The aim of the Dental Workshop was to provide guidance not only to the hemophilic patients but also to their parents and guardians. According to a rough estimate about 45 % of hemophilia patients have various types of dental problems due to lack of proper care and education.
The collaborating partners include Pakistan Hemophilia Welfare Society (PHWS), Dental Department, Children Hospital PIMS and Novo Nordisk Hemophilia Foundation (NNHF). The HEP is focused on awareness rising, and improved preventive care to reinforce the care offered by the medical doctors. The strategy includes developing effective simple to understand educational materials in local language, transfer of skills to patients and families for day to day home care and managing the emergencies among the patients.
The dental workshop was divided into three main sessions, inaugural, educational and technical.
The Hemophilia center at PIMS is the first center in Govt. Hospital and has played a major role in improving care of patients with bleeding disorders. Ms Nazia Kausar, a patient suffering from Hemophilia, in her speech shared her experiences of the disease and how it has affected her life. She also talked about the problems she faced because of the disease. Dr Anser Maxood, Professor and Head of the Dental Department at PIMS and Chief Guest of the workshop, talked about the dental problems which patients suffering from Haemophilia face. In his address he spoke about various types of dental complications which a haemophilic can suffer from and elaborated on the treatment of such patients at PIMS. In the end of the inaugural session, the Chief Guest and all the facilitators were awarded shields by Dr Tahira Zafar.
The Educational session started with a brief discussion of the activity to be carried out and described how the activity will be carried out. The education session focused on identifying problems and issues related to dentistry by the participants during home care. They were encouraged to make any suggestion or remedial measures in management of the patients with possible dental diseases in the family. The Visualization in Participatory Planning (VIPP) methodology was used for maximum interaction. This process provided a comprehensive checklist of problems as expressed by the participants. In VIPP methodology the groups were given different colored cards. Male participants were given blue cards and females were given green cards to write down two problems each which they considered most important. After writing the problems, participants were given red cards for writing the solution which they thought was best for their problems. These cards were then used to carry out the assessment of their problems and solutions with their point of view.
The technical session was conducted by Dr Zahida Ahmad, Dental Surgeon, Childrens Hospital PIMS. Dr Zahida started with the introduction and mainly covered the technical aspects of dental problems. In the introduction, patients were told about the two main diseases, Dental Caries (cavities) and Gingivitis (gum diseases), which affect all persons including hemophiliacs. These diseases are totally preventable with the knowledge for those who seek to prevent Caries. Prevention of Caries includes proper brushing with fluoride paste, use of fissure sealants, fibrous diet as fruits and vegetables and less intake of sugars.
However if preventive measures are not taken, the acidic attack can cause the tooth to decay. If not treated timely, the tooth becomes un-restorable and would have to be extracted with all the hazards that entails for the treatment of patients with Hemophiliac. Gum disease is very common which if not prevented or treated leads to bone loss. Patients with hemophilia must remember that the prevention of dental disease is better, cheaper and safer then the treatment.
Dental assistants and doctors with interest in hemophilia were identified and trained to develop the appropriate approach for prevention at local or personal level. They were then used as facilitators for the workshop. In the end, this workshop was also evaluated to make an assessment about the learning outcome of the workshop. The participants like the previous workshops showed a marked positive difference in their initial knowledge base at the end of the workshop. They appreciated the material in Urdu and practical demonstration of dental care. Dr. Tahira Zafar and Dr Zahida Ahmad acted as resource persons and mentors for the workshop. Ms Yasmin Ehsan was the key facilitator.-SANA