Editor's Note to Volume 2 - Dental Research in Africa

The state of dental research in Africa is lamentable when compared to the other continents. While this situation is unacceptable, it is not surprising because oral health personnel on the continent are not yet strategically placed to be able to influence health policy and decisions on funding.

There is a general lack of government support for oral health research. Most countries do not have established bodies that fund oral health research.

South Africa is a worthy exception in this regard and the Medical Research Council of South Africa, the Health Systems Research and corporate bodies contribute substantially to the funding of oral health research.

Inadequate, outdated or total lack of equipment severely limits the types of research that are reported from Africa. Basic amenities such as water and regular electricity that are taken for granted in the industrialized countries are still issues retarding frontline research endeavour in Africa.

What then is the way forward? While Deans of Dental schools and Heads of Oral health services in the ministries must cooperate and work out strategic plans to enhance the overall status of oral health services and research, initiatives such as the African Journal of Oral Health will strive to improve dental research and output on the African continent.

Oral health personnel in Africa cannot afford to be complacent and must rise up to the challenges. International bodies working to enhance oral health services at the global level must give priority to initiatives on the African continent. In the current edition of AJOH, we have articles from Tunisia, Kenya, Congo and Nigeria. AJOH will continue to strive for better coverage and service within and outside the continent.

Professor E. O. Ogunbodede