Najat A J S Alyafei

Preventative Oral Health Services, Qatar

Title: Asnani project: A preventative oral health program targeting school children in Qatar


Najat Alyafei is the Head of Preventative Oral Health Services of the Primary Healthcare Corporation, a member of the National Oral Health Committee (NOHC) and
the Program Manager of the School Oral Health Program tagged Asnani (My Teeth) in Qatar. In addition, she was the fi rst and only Qatari senior dental hygienist
working at Hamad Medical Corporation until 2016. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and
Master of Science degree in Education, Administration, and Dental hygiene at Old Dominion University, Virginia, USA. Currently,she is a PhD candidate at Bangor
University, United Kingdom and her PhD research is focussed on dentalcaries behavioural prevention strategies for primary school children in Qatar.


Background: Recent studies revealed that Qatar has one of the highest prevalence fi gures of dental caries worldwide, especially
among young children (89%) (1,2). Th erefore, one of the State’s national strategies to tackle this issue was to expand the old
school oral health program (SOHP) which was accommodating only fi rst and fourth grade of primary school students, to a
more comprehensive program, including all levels of school children in public kindergartens and governmental schools in
Qatar. Th e program is sought to reduce the oral disease burden by integrating educational, preventive and curative approach.
Methods: Th e program is targeting 130,000 students, and utilizes mobile dental clinics, operated by dentists, dental hygienists,
and dental assistants to outreach students at schools. Students will receive oral hygiene instructions, full mouth screening,
preventative dental treatment (topical fl uoride & fi ssure sealants) and will be referred for dental treatment if needed. All
clinical fi ndings are recorded electronically, including full dental charting and DMFT/dmft index. Th e project has been piloted
in Feb-Mar, 2018. Th ree schools were selected (two primary schools – one for boys and one for girls - and one KG for boys)
with 700 students included in the pilot.
Results: Dental caries prevalence was 82.4%, and the mean DMFT was 5.8. Around 51% of the students had DMFT > 5, 22%
had DMFT between 3 and 5 and 14% had DMFT ≤ 2. Moreover, 95.2% received topical fl uoride, and 28.5% received fi ssure sealant.
Implications: In line with the National Primary Health Care Strategy in Qatar, which stresses on implementing more
preventative dental services, the new |Asnani SOHP aims to reduce the state’s burden of oral disease, increase community
awareness about the importance of oral health prevention and improve access to dental services.
Conclusion: Th e new Asnani SOHP integrates both primary health care and educational institutes in order to deliver effi cient
and high standard preventative dental service, where oral health education, prevention, and treatment take part in reducing
oral disease burden among school children.