This refers to president ‘Pakistan Medical and Dental Council’ (PMDC) and Chairman of Higher Education Commission (HEC) who held a joint conference, reported in your daily (The Nation February 17, 2015). They announced that the two organizations are joining hands to revise 10 years old dental curriculum in the country and bringing it at par with the international standards. Earlier reported studies on mercury contamination in air, at the dental sites, in five cities of Pakistan and review of three sets of curriculum offered, to the dental teaching institutions in the country, has revealed absence of topics in dental curriculum related to health and environmental impacts resulting from mercury exposure.

There is a dire need to teach and train, upcoming professional dentists, in non-mercury based dental fillings, encapsulated and mechanical mixing methodologies, environmentally sound management of mercury contaminated wastes at dental sites and health hazards to dental health staff, arising from prolonged and continuous mercury exposure. It is most strongly recommended to PMDC and HEC to include these and other relevant topics in the revised dental curriculum, for safeguarding public health, especially of the vulnerable populations i.e. children, pregnant women and dental health care staff.

DR. MAHMOOD A. KHWAJA,

Islamabad, February 22.