Journal of the Dow University of Health Sciences (Sep 2015)

Oral Health Awareness and Practices of School Going Children Aged 11 to 16 Years in a Squatter Settlement of Karachi

  • Muhammad Shahzad Ali,
  • Talal Hussain,
  • Gati Ara,
  • Nosheen Zehra

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 2
pp. 71 – 75


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Objective: To assess the awareness and practices of school going children aged 11 to 16 years regarding oralhealth and hygiene in a squatter settlement of Karachi. Methods: Data of this cross sectional study was collected by self administered questionnaire from schoolstudents of Gulshan e Sikanderabad, a squatter settlement in Karachi. Sample size of 204 was selected bysimple random sampling and school going children aged 11 to 16 years were included in the study. The datawas analyzed by SPSS version 20. Results: Total 204 students were included in this study with mean age of 14.5 + 1.9 years, of them 140(68.6%) were males and 64 (31.4%) were females. Significant difference (p= 0.001) was found between thepractices and beliefs of students regarding oral health and hygiene. It was observed that gum bleeding, foulsmelling, dental caries, plaque formation and tooth loosening were the most common problems faced byalmost half of the school students. Chalia (Areca nut) was consumed by majority i.e. 113 (55.4%) of the schoolstudents. Cigarette, Gutka and Naswar were also consumed less frequently than chalia but still by notableproportion of students. Conclusion: Students from the schools of this squatter settlement were aware of the importance of maintainingoral health and hygiene and practice them as well; however they were also involved in consuming oralsubstance abuse despite knowing the damaging outcome of these substances.