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MAHE students develop an app to create awareness on OSMF

Anirudh Bhat

22nd September 2020

Manipal Academy of Higher Education. (Source: manipal.edu)

Oral sub mucous fibrosis (OSMF), a disorder related to the ingestion of areca nut, remains a common, yet lesser-knownsubmucous threat to oral health in Karnataka. A team of students from Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) has created a web app called the OSMF Awareness/Areca Nut, to raise awareness on the illness.

“Close to 10 per cent of the Indian population consumes some type of areca nut on a regular basis, but many are unaware of its harmful effects. Karnataka is the country’s largest producer of areca nuts, and about 16 per cent of the population consumes areca nuts. Consumption of areca nut triggers OSMF, some of whose symptoms include burning feeling in the mouth, pain, and trouble opening one’s mouth. It may also cause long-term oral cancer”, noted the creators to Times of India

To combat the lack of awareness, group members Dr. Priyanka Prasad, Viola D’Souza, Soural Dandothi, Dr. Gopal Kasat, and Dr. Shriya Verma, all of whom are associated with MAHE, launched a web application that educates and raises awareness about OSMF. It was released on 1st September. 

Viola D’Souza mentioned that in addition to raising awareness, the app engages its viewers in order to improve their knowledge of remedy choices at every level of OSMF. It lets a person with OSMF know the current stage of OSMF they are in and the various treatment options. “Knowledge of the ill-effects of the consumption of areca nuts is minimal. There are no health promotion activities or awareness programmes of the same kind. However, the disease is preventable,” said Viola to Times of India, explaining why they came up with the application. 

As a dental student, Priyanka Prasad told Times of India she came across several OSMF sufferers and is now determined to educate the community. “As dental students, we have many patients who have come to the clinic with stained teeth, toothache, and burning sensation in their mouths. The culprit is high areca nut consumption and individuals unaware of the potential health risks. This app aims to improve awareness and educate the community about OSMF.”

Dentists can use the web-app as an interactive way to educate their patients and to raise awareness among them. The team is working on developing the app in various regional languages for a greater reach.

The app can be downloaded at www.dentaplus.in.

Source: Times of India

Edited by Varun Paleli Vasudevan

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