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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 533-537

Neglected health literacy undermining fluorosis control efforts: A pilot study among schoolchildren in an endemic village of rural Rajasthan, India


1 Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
2 All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Institute of Medical Sciences, Port Blair, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Neeti Rustagi
Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.222017

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Background: Ingestion of excess fluoride can cause fluorosis which adversely affects teeth and bones. Fluorosis is a major public health problem in the state of Rajasthan with all its 32 districts having variable fluoride contamination, and many initiatives are currently implemented in this region to mitigate the fluorosis burden. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess fluorosis, its risk factors, and the awareness among school students and teachers in endemic villages of Jodhpur district, Rajasthan. Materials and Methods: A representative sample of 300 students of age 12–15 years were enrolled for cross-sectional study in selected villages. Data were collected regarding awareness, behavioral and preventive practices about fluorosis and clinical assessment and fluoride estimation in water and urine samples was done. Results: Dental fluorosis through Dean's index was observed in 24.5% of students. The awareness and practices for fluorosis prevention and its risk factors were poor among both students and teachers. Intake of piped water supply was reported by majority of students (95.8%). High fluoride concentration was found in 35 (81.3%) out of 43 urine samples. Conclusion: Improvement in drinking water supply in the endemic village of Rajasthan has decreased the burden of fluorosis, but low level of awareness and prevailing dietary and behavioral practices still pose them at risk of high fluoride intake. This signifies the need to address nonconventional sources of fluoride intake (diet and toothpaste) and early screening of disease by involving teachers and family physicians in fluoride mitigation efforts.


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