Because Toothache Matters

A municipality in Southern Mindanao takes the welfare of its people’s teeth so seriously that it provides the biggest allocation of the health sector budget to dental health.

From 2005 to 2010, the local government of Malapatan, Sarangani Province has allotted a total of P1.03 million to the dental health program. Coming in second is control of cardiovascular diseases with a six-year budget of P910,000. Cardiovascular diseases and cardiac arrest are the leading causes of death in Malapatan.

Acute respiratory infection is the number one disease in the area with almost 7,000 recorded cases in 2008. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children under five years old. Funding for ARI and pneumonia mitigation amounts to P800,000.

Other services such as maternal and child health care, tuberculosis control, malaria and dengue prevention, and family planning ranked even lower.

Here are the top 10 funded programs managed by the municipal health office for 2005-2010:

  1. Dental Health Program – P1,030,000
  2. Control of Cardiovascular Diseases – P910,000
  3. Control of Acute Respiratory Infection – P800,000
  4. Maternal and Child Health Care – P750,000; Tuberculosis Control Program – P750,000
  5. Control of Diarrheal Diseases – P660,000; Prevention of Endemic Diseases (malaria, dengue, filariasis, etc.) – P660,000
  6. Integrated Management of Childhood Illness – P650,000
  7. Family Planning Program – P630,000
  8. Expanded Program on Immunization – P600,000
  9. Capability Development for Barangay Health Workers – P565,000
  10. Municipal Outreach Program – P325,000

Aside from the dental health program allocation, separate funds amounting to P230,000 were also earmarked for so-called capacity development programs for dental health week and barangay dental auxiliaries. This brings the total budget of all dental-related activities to P1.26 million.

Here are the top 10 leading causes of mortality in 2008:

  1. Cardio-respiratory arrest
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Cardiovascular diseases
  4. Pulmonary tuberculosis, Accidents
  5. Kidney diseases, Cancer
  6. Pneumonia
  7. Bleeding peptic ulcer
  8. Heart diseases, Bronchial asthma
  9. Diabetes mellitus
  10. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Here are the top 10 leading causes of morbidity in 2008:

  1. Acute respiratory infection
  2. Fever
  3. Musculoskeletal disorder
  4. Wounds
  5. Skin problems
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Anemia
  8. Gastritis
  9. Hypertension
  10. Urinary tract infection

So apparently, not a lot of people suffer from or die of toothache and yet dental health has been getting the biggest budgetary allotment for the past six years. Go figure.


Annual Implementation Plans, 2005-2010

Table on Vital Statistics Data, 2008


2 thoughts on “Because Toothache Matters

  1. Incognito Ainur

    Sakit bya nang toothache, you know! Debilitating kaayu! Ikaw jud, concerned lng ang mga health officials sa Malapatan sa oral health sa ilang constituents, hehehehe!


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