Brunei Darussalam - Mission Report 1998 on training course in oral health survey method

23-28 March 1998
by Dr Wong Hee Deong


Objectives of mission:

  • To conduct a short training course in oral health survey methods for dental personnel;
  • To provide technical support in the development of a survey protocol;
  • To advise on the preparation and the day to day operations during the survey;
  • To advise on the processing and analysis of the survey data to be collected.

Summary of activities, findings, conclusions and recommendations:
A three-day training course in oral health survey methods was conducted at the Community Oral Health Services Unit, Kiarone Medical Centre. A total of thirteen participants comprising dental officers and dental nurses attended. The course covered all the important aspects in organizing and conducting surveys to ensure that the data collected would be reliable and valid for comparison with those of other surveys similarly conducted. Particular attention was given to standardization, where possible errors might arise, and how to overcome the problem of examiner variations. The day-to-day operations during the survey, preparations for the survey and the subsequent arrangements for the collected data to be processed and tabulated were also touched upon.

Owing to the early closure of schools caused by the bad haze that had developed, some planned sessions involving children were curtailed. Instead, the writer was asked to participate in other activities. A lecture on dental public health was given to all the government dental staff. He also participated and made contributions at a special meeting convened to discuss the feasibility of establishing a new dental nurses’ training school and visited some dental clinics in Bandar Sen Bergawan, Seria and Kuala Belait.

Based on the activities undertaken and what was observed, the writer wishes to make the following recommendations:

  1. Greater awareness of the importance of oral health should be created that would lead to the general public seeking treatment earlier and demanding more conservative treatment.
  2. The level of knowledge and skills in self care among the public should be raised to preserve oral health.
  3. The feasibility of introducing flexible time for dental nurses involved in the school programme should be considered to enable them to have more contact time each day with the children they care for.
  4. The deployment and utilization of dental nurses should be reviewed to see if their contributions can be further increased.
  5. A scheme should be instituted to monitor the daily levels of fluoride in the public water supplies and make adjustments to them when necessary.
    The intended oral health survey should be expanded to include 15-year olds and the 35-44 age group.