Slum-dwellers screened for OPMD in Old City

Helping Hand Foundation also conducts counselling for people who chew tobacco

A population-based screening programme to detect Oral Potentially Malignant Disorders (OPMD) among slum-dwellers in Old City was launched by Helping Hand Foundation (HHF), an NGO.

Mujtaba Hasan Askari, the NGO’s trustee, said they selected the slum areas as there is high exposure to non-smoke tobacco among youth and adults there.

The OPMD are conditions such as leukoplakia – white lesions on gums, lining of mouth and tongue – that can potentially lead to cancer.

To ensure that people do not hold back from getting screened owing to the stigma attached to non-smoke tobacco chewing, the screening programme is being conducted under the banner ‘Free Dental Screening’.

From May, three screening sessions have been conducted and a total of 110 men, 15 women, aged between 20 years to 48 years, have been screened.

“From the random sample screened, 12 men, all aged between 20-30 years, are found to be having leukoplakia (8) and oral sub mucosal fibrosis (4). Both are OPMDs,” Mr. Askari said.

“Most of the people are unaware of the risk of developing full blown malignancies. We are working on counselling them first to make them give up the habit of chewing tobacco followed by oral prophylactics like cleaning, scaling and medication to treat the pre malignant disorder (PMD),” said Akbar Ali Khan, palliative care physician, HHF.

Those who were screened have been encouraged to get their friends and family members for group counselling sessions at the dental clinic that the NGO runs in the slum at N.S. Kunta.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 7:57:23 AM |

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