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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 503-506
Is accredited social health activists' basic oral health knowledge appropriate in educating rural Indian population?


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Lenora Institute of Dental Sciences, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, SIBAR Institute of Dental Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Navodaya Dental College and Hospital, Raichur, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Narayana Rao Vinnakota
H. No. 5-2-1/2, Opposite Arts and Science College, Bapatla, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_692_16

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Introduction: Accredited social health activists (ASHAs) are the grassroot level health activists in the community who are involved in health education and community mobilization toward utilizing the health services. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the oral health knowledge among ASHAs working in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, India. Five Primary Health Centers were randomly selected, and the total sample was 275. Categorical data were analyzed using Chi-square test. P ≤ 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Results: The mean age was 32 ± 5.11 years and mean education was 9 ± 1.329 years of schooling. ASHAs were categorized into two groups based on their education levels, i.e., Group I whose education qualification is <10th class and Group II whose education qualification is above 10th class to observe any difference in knowledge based on their education. Overall knowledge among ASHAs was poor and also it was observed that both the groups were having poor knowledge regarding dental caries, calculus, dental plaque, oral cancer, and change of tooth brush. About 69.5% of the ASHAs were approached by public with dental problems, but only a few, i.e., 15.8% have referred the patients to the nearby dentist. Conclusion: As we know that most of the dental diseases are preventable, there is a dire need that ASHAs should be thoroughly educated in the aspects of oral health and diseases during their training period. This not only helps in creating awareness among them but also serves the ultimate purpose of improving the oral health of rural population.


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