Oral health remains a global public health concern. Limited available research indicates there is a link among poor oral health, socio-economic status, and other health disparities. However the oral health challenges among refugee children in African refugee camps has had negligible exploratory attention.
To assess dental caries and other oral health challenges of primary school-age children in Rhino Camp Refugee Settlements in Arua, Uganda.
Two primary schools were selected from Rhino Camp Refugee Settlements in Arua, Uganda. Participants were from only one class at each of the selected schools. This cross-sectional study was completed in June 2017. Using the World Health Organization guidelines, we calculated the decayed, missing, filled teeth (DMFT) index.
There were 177 primary school-age students 8-17 years old, with adult teeth. 51.4% of the participants were females, and 48.6% were males. Of all participants, 165 (93.2%) had missing or decayed teeth. The mean DMFT index was 4.78 among males and 5.54 among females.
Oral health is a concern for people living in refugee camps. The observed high DMFT prevalence among school-age children calls for aggressive, evidence-based interventions including health promotion education. Oral health is linked to other health issues and evidence-based interventions will likely also improve the general health of school-age children in these refugee camps.