Oral health

Oral health status of children and adults in urban and rural areas of Burkina Faso, Africa

International Dental Journal (2004) 54, 83-89
Benoît Varenne (Paris, France)
Poul Erik Petersen (Geneva, Switzerland)
Seydou Ouattara (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)


To analyse the oral health status of children and adults in rural and urban areas of Burkina Faso; to provide epidemiological data for planning and evaluation of oral health care programmes.


Cross-sectional survey including different ethnic and socio-economic groups.

Sample and methods

Multistage cluster sampling of households in urban areas and random samples of participants selected based on the recent population census in rural areas. The final study population covered four age groups: 6 years (n = 424), 12 years (n = 505), 18 years (n = 492) and 35–44 years (n = 493). Clinical oral health data collected according to WHO methodology and criteria.


At age 6, 38% of children had caries, with prevalence higher in urban than rural areas. At age 12, the mean DMFT was 0.7 with prevalence significantly higher among urban than rural children. Mean DMFT was 1.9 in 18-year-olds and 6.3 in 35–44-year-olds and figures were higher for women than men. In adults, no differences in caries experience were found by location whereas the caries index was significantly affected by ethnic group and occupation. CPI score 2 (gingivitis and calculus) was dominant for all ages: 6 years (58%), 12 years (57%), 18 years (58%), 35–44 years (49%). In addition, 10% of 35–44-year-olds had CPI score 4. Rural participants had more severe periodontal scores than did urban individuals.


Health authorities should strengthen the implementation of community-based oral disease prevention and health promotion programmes rather than traditional curative care.


Oral health priority action area