Kelantanese kids face tooth decay woes

Posted on November 24, 2011. Filed under: Water resource |

-The Star-

ALMOST all children under four years old in Kelantan are facing tooth decay problems due to the lack of fluoride in water supply in the state.

Utusan Malaysia reported that statistics showed that in 2007, 95.3% of children in the age bracket have decaying teeth.

In that year, the daily reported, only 18.1% of the people in Kelantan received water supply with fluoride and the figure had dropped to only 14.1% last year.

At national level, the percentage of children below the age of six facing tooth decay problems stands at 74.5%.

It said in the same period, 62.7% of children below 12 suffered from the problem compared to only 41.5% at national level.

The problem, said the report, was even more serious for those above 16, with 83.5% of them suffering from the problem.

It reported that 24 out of 29 water treatment plants owned by Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd did not have the fluoridation system to add fluorine into the water supplied to the people to prevent tooth decay.

The report said, only treatment plants in Kota Baru, Pasir Mas, Machang and Kuala Krai have the fluoridation system in place.

The Health Ministry has set the healthy range of fluoride in drinking water between 0.4ppm (parts of fluoride per million parts of water) to 0.6ppm.

The report said Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd had failed to meet the requirements set by the ministry due to its cost-cutting exercise.

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