Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world this Tuesday in commemorating World Oral Health Day with statistics showing that more than 30% of Zimbabweans, especially children, have tooth decay.

During the commemorations, a call was made for the government to formulate and uphold policies that are conducive to health and healthy lifestyles.

World Health Organisation (WHO) National Advisor for Health Systems, Dr Stanley Midzi said it is the government’s mandate to ensure prevention of oral health diseases.

“The government must develop policies and strategies that promote good oral health in the country,” he said.

The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa said it is important for the public to eat healthy diets, reduce sugar intake as well as tobacco and alcohol to ensure good oral health.

“There is need for a vigorous exercise to promote community dental services through awareness campaigns that promote healthy diets,” he said.

Globally, 2.4 billion people have untreated tooth decay and according to WHO, 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases in their lifetime.