Mr Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of Health, has said 764 people died of mouth cancers, also known as oral cancers every year in Nigeria.
Speaking on Sunday in Abuja during an oral cancer training programme, the Minister explained that the country records 1,146 new cases of oral cancers annually.
Represented by Dr Gloria Uzoigwe, the head of dentistry division of the ministry, the Minister noted that oral cancers remained a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Nigeria as a result of late reporting in hospitals, lamenting the inability of healthcare workers to detect the lesion early and refer appropriately among others have made the situation worse in the country.
A new oral health policy in November, according to the Minister, would be launched with a view to curtailing the disease among Nigerians.
Seidu Bello, the Executive Director, the Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation (CFDF), explained that artificial intelligence helps in early detection of oral cancers and oral potentially malignant disorders, stressing that it could be used to predict with more than 90 percent accuracy that someone could develop cancer in another 10 years.
According to him, in Nigeria, the use of artificial intelligence for oral health was currently close to zero level.
Tope Adeyemi, President, the Nigerian Dental Association, represented by Ukachi Nnawuihe, the Secretary-General of the association, appealed for full integration of oral health in the primary healthcare services towards ensuring easy access to oral healthcare in the country.