Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 01, 2019 (SKNIS):Member of Parliament (MP) for St. Christopher One (of which Newtown is located), the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, has urged the public to make use of the available services of the Newtown Dental Clinic following its re-opening on Friday, March 01, 2019.

At a ceremony to mark the re-opening, Minister Liburd noted that the clinic was originally commissioned almost 20 years ago to be a standalone facility that offers primary oral healthcare to the population. Clinics were subsequently opened at the Pogson Medical Centre in Sandy Point and the Mary Charles Hospital in Molineux, but the Newtown facility has maintained its importance to a large segment of people from all walks of life including primary and secondary school students.

“Services, I am advised, were also offered to Her Majesty’s Prison on a monthly basis and the correctional facility at Harris’ village. Services are also provided for the vulnerable population including all children, older persons over the age of 62 years and the mentally ill,” Minister Liburd said, adding that this includes clients at the Dr. Arthur W. Lake Mental Health Day Treatment Centre and the psychiatric ward at the J. N. France General Hospital.

Renovations began at the facility in February 2017 and resulted in extensive rehabilitation work that saw cupboards and furniture replaced, walls painted, basins replaced, new air conditioning units installed and existing ones serviced. The entire building was also fumigated. Most of the rehabilitation work was performed by the Public Works Department with assistance from the Environmental Health Department, and the Maintenance Department at the Basseterre Health Centre.

The clinic has four dental rooms, a recovery room, and enclosed spaces designated for sterilization, x-ray and stores, among others. Ramps make the building more accessible to the differently-abled.

“We cannot understate the importance of dental health services,” Minister Liburd said. “The school health programme is a best practice with a strong focus on oral health promotion and prevention.”

The minister added that poor oral health can cause many diseases including oral candidiasis, gingivitis, periodontitis, and dental abscess. “I want to implore you to try to access the services,” he said.

The re-opening ceremony was attended by senior government officials including Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; Minister of Health, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, and Minister of State responsible for Health, the Honourable Wendy Phipps. Members of the public and students from the nearby Tucker-Clarke Primary School also witnessed the ceremony and toured the renovated clinic after.