Health Interview - Dr. Zia Abbas

by Ammarah Ali on 13th January, 2012 at 4:09 AM CEST

As a member of C:F Action Team #7, I decided to interview Dr. Zia Abbas. He is the head of department of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Department in Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan. I conducted this interview with him on 30th October 2011.

Q1-According to you what is the most important step taken in the field of dentistry?

I think the recent development and promotion of International and National conferences which contribute in motivating different kinds of researches is the most important step taken in the field of dentistry. Research element is important in the current era. Different platforms coming together not only to share knowledge but also experiences is the need of today. Symposiums on different topics and theme are being conducted throughout the world on both national and international level and I think that individual efforts, colleges, and HEC (higher education commission) all working together can really take it far and tackle the problems faced in modern dentistry.

Q3-What steps should be taken to increase the awareness among people?

Media, magazines, Internet are the most important sources through which the information about oral health care can be spread and they have been spreading awareness for a quite some time.

Nowadays you can see advertisements about different types of toothpastes and toothbrushes. We are in need of more health channels and more programmes especially regarding the consequences of usage of paan ( also known as betel quid), chalias (betel or areca nut) and guktas (is a preparation of crushed areca nut (also called betel nut), tobacco, catechu,paraffin, lime and sweet or savory flavorings) among the children.

The researches show that children start eating these things about the age of 4 and they do so after seeing their parents or their friends eating them. You can find school children having chalias and gutkas packet in their pockets and the whiteness on the angels of mouth with limited mouth opening. The parents do not realize that it is a predisposing factor that can lead to oral sub mucous fibrosis (OSF) and then into fully developed oral cancer and this ignorance can become a big problem. There have been a number of cases where the patient came to OPD (out patient department) with the fully developed oral cancer and the end result was the death of the patient.

Picture: Ammarah (left), our C:F Action Team, Health Saviour in the midst of the interview with Dr. Zia Abbas (right).

Talk shows should be done and ways to gain public attraction on this issue should be sought. Campaigns should be organized along with walks. Days, dedicated to stop the usage of tobacco products and other harmful materials such as pan and gutka should be made. Pamphlets and posters should be distributed in concerned masses. School awareness is the most important step that should be taken because like I said the children of this age group are more prone in becoming an addict to these things.

As dentists in whatever step up we are working in we can make boards and slogans, discouraging the use of harmful products.

What's Next?

This is surely not the end of this Interview. Look out for the Health Saviours, Action Team #7's Combined Report in February 2012 when we will reveal all the rest of the interview by all other Action Team members as well!

~Ammarah from Pakistan, C:F Action Team #7, Health Saviours

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Very educative, I love the part about the various toothpaste and tooth brush in the market now that can be so confusing to the consumers but at the long run there all serve the same purpose.

13th January, 2012 @ 9:38 AM CEST

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