Journal of International Oral Health

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 199--200

Need to understand challenges at rural dental health centers among developing countries in COVID-19 context


Frank Mayta-Tovalino1, Fernando Pérez-Vargas2, Arnaldo Munive-Degregori3, Ana Díaz-Soriano4,  
1 Postgraduate Department, CHANGE Research Working Group, Faculty of Health of Sciences, Universidad Científica del Sur, Lima, Peru
2 Department of Pediatric Stomatology, Faculty of Dentistry, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru
3 Department of Rehabilitative Stomatology, Faculty of Dentistry, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru
4 Department of Preventive and Social Stomatology, Faculty of Dentistry, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Frank Mayta-Tovalino
Postgraduate Department, CHANGE Research Working Group, Faculty of Health of Sciences, Universidad Científica del Sur, Av. Paseo de la República 5544, Miraflores.
Peru




How to cite this article:
Mayta-Tovalino F, Pérez-Vargas F, Munive-Degregori A, Díaz-Soriano A. Need to understand challenges at rural dental health centers among developing countries in COVID-19 context.J Int Oral Health 2021;13:199-200


How to cite this URL:
Mayta-Tovalino F, Pérez-Vargas F, Munive-Degregori A, Díaz-Soriano A. Need to understand challenges at rural dental health centers among developing countries in COVID-19 context. J Int Oral Health [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 8 ];13:199-200
Available from: https://www.jioh.org/text.asp?2021/13/2/199/313852


Full Text

Due to the obligatory quarantine for COVID-19 declared by most of the developing countries, many people have not had access to dental health services in either the capital or in the provinces in the interior of the country where the “Quechua” language is generally spoken and often neglected by young “millennial” health professionals. For this reason, it is important to highlight the need to understand and speak Quechua, especially in the rural areas of Andean countries that share this language. It is an indigenous language passed down from the time of the Incas. Unlike English and other commercial languages, it is an inflected language in which the genres depend on linguistic markers.[1],[2],[3],[4]

Currently, in Latin America, there are approximately more than 12 million people who speak this language of the Incas (Quechua). This language is mainly spoken in countries such as: Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Bolivia. Nonetheless, few professionals understand and speak this language. This is because the main universities are generally located in developed cities, obliging students to migrate from their hometowns. This language has a wide cross-cultural significance and is necessary socially and it should be a priority for young people and future professionals to also be trained in academic, cultural, and scientific fields.[1],[2] For instance, the main limitation is that no courses are available in Quechua in Latin-American universities, despite being an official language recognized by the Peruvian State. Professionals should at least have basic knowledge of the Quechua language, especially when working in rural areas of Andean countries. In this sense, more than an elective subject, it is a moral necessity for providing adequate care to patients.

In Latin America, dental care is not exempt from this problem. There is no list of technical vocabulary in Quechua; therefore, undergraduate students do not receive inclusion training. This linguistic and practical knowledge[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] requires immediate attention from the authorities of all the dental faculties in the country and should even be part of a central government policy. For example, according to the Irons’ study,[4] medical care for low-income Quechua women is poor and that training for health workers should focus on understanding patients’ perspectives. It is a sad reality that many young graduates are unable to express themselves and communicate in Quechua, thereby creating large gaps in dental care. While this learning depends on the value given to it by the health professionals and their work perspectives, the issue of knowing this language should, nonetheless, be considered.[3],[4],[5]

This pandemic has a direct impact on public health, so it is important to know how to deal with the management of patients in the era of COVID-19 and how to reduce cross-infections. Therefore, public health policies must be well established so that dentists can meet this challenge.[6],[7]

Cultural background influences beliefs and values regarding health care within the context of COVID-19, which can generate a certain degree of discrimination in accessibility to health services.[4] Several studies have shown that indigenous people are less likely to be attended by professionals who understand their mother tongue during medical care.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] Knowledge of the Quechua language would allow good cultural, social, and humanistic relations within a holistic vision.[3]

Finally, the description of oral pain in the mother tongue of a patient, such as Quechua, substantially contributes to understanding the symptoms of multiple oral diseases in order to provide the most adequate care for dental professionals.

Acknowledgement

We want to thank the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and the Universidad Científica del Sur.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

None.

Author contributions

All authors approved this manuscript.

Ethical policy and institutional review board statement

Not applicable.

Patient declaration of consent

Not applicable.

Data availability statement

Not applicable.

References

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2Valdés MT, González S, Díaz I, Verdayes A, Díaz LM La enseñanza del inglés en las ciencias médicas: Su repercusión social. Rev Ciencias Médicas 2010;4:26-31.
3Shapero JA Does environmental experience shape spatial cognition? Frames of reference among ancash Quechua speakers (Peru). Cogn Sci 2017;41:1274-98.
4Irons R [Qualitative analysis of the care in the family planning services offered Quechua-speaking patients in Ayacucho, Peru]. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica 2019;36:188-95.
5Sabogal Á, Asencios J, Robles A, Gamboa E, Rosas J, Ríos J, et al. Epidemiological profile of the pathologies of the oral cavity in a Peruvian population: A 9-year retrospective study of 18,639 patients. Sci World J 2019;2019:2357013.
6Patini R How to face the post-SARS-cov-2 outbreak era in private dental practice: Current evidence for avoiding cross-infections. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent 2020;10:237-9.
7Patini R Management of special needs patients in dentistry during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. J Int Oral Health 2020;12:S53-6.