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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 271-275

Role of Dentists in Disaster Response: Indian Perspectives

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, I.T.S Centre for Dental Studies and Research, Muradnagar, Ghaziabad, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, SGT Dental College, Gurgaon, India

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In India where the situation is very different from other countries, with a population of 1.15 million in 2009 (the second largest in the world); it is likely that more people will fall prey to mass disasters. The dentist population ratio looks quite grim in rural India scenario which houses majority of the population. There has to be a proper disaster plan which should include surveillance, referral of patients, diagnosis and monitoring, triage, immunizations, medications, infection control and role of dental society towards disaster response. Dentists are acknowledged widely as leaders in preventive oral health care. Services provided by dentists potentially include education, risk communication, diagnosis, surveillance and definite treatment, etc. Majority of the public probably would not think of their dentists as being a first responder during a mass disaster. Dentists can play a crucial role from surveillance and education, to emergency response, hence we strongly urge that a high priority be set for providing these professionals with the knowledge and training necessary to improve their ability to respond effectively in such events. This is an attempt made to see the efficacy of dentist's related policy measures to mitigate the adverse effects of disasters in India.

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