International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry

Register      Login

VOLUME 12 , ISSUE 4 ( July-August, 2019 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Empowerment of Anganwadi Workers in Oral Health Care: A Kerala Experience

Sunu Alice Cherian, Elizabeth Joseph, S Rupesh, Gibi Syriac, John Philip

Keywords : Anganwadi workers, Knowledge, Oral health education, Practice, Preexperimental study

Citation Information : Cherian SA, Joseph E, Rupesh S, Syriac G, Philip J. Empowerment of Anganwadi Workers in Oral Health Care: A Kerala Experience. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2019; 12 (4):268-272.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10005-1636

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; The Author(s).


Introduction: Oral diseases are a serious public health problem, which affects the overall health of a person. The lack of available and affordable oral health services, especially in a developing country like India, not only results in aggravation of the disease, but also enhances the cost of treatment and care. Education and involvement of community workers like Anganwadi workers aid to remove stigma, discrimination and provide better atmosphere conducive for patients with various diseases. Aim: To assess the knowledge and practice of oral health care among the AWWs of the Pulikeezh block Panchayath before and after an oral health education training. Materials and methods: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to anganwadi workers of the Pulikeezh block Panchayath, Thiruvalla, Kerala before and after an oral health education training within a period of 3 months. Result: The mean knowledge and practice scores in the pretest were found to be 9.6 + 2.2 and 5.0 + 1.0 respectively. The posttest conducted after a 3-month period showed an increase in the knowledge and practice score with a mean of 10.9 + 2.2 and 5.7 + 0.6 respectively. The increase in knowledge and practice was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Empowered women are recognizably key agents in the change process who can play an effective role for health promotion. AWWs can function as oral health guides who can create awareness and help in prevention oral diseases. Clinical significance: As the oral health of an individual is set in the preschool period and more than 90% of dental diseases are preventable; preventive factors established around this age will determine the person's dental health for many years to come. The inclusion of oral health education in Anganwadi centers can be helpful in prevention of dental diseases.

PDF Share
  1. Petersen P. The World Oral Health Report 2003: continuous improvement of oral health in the 21st century - the approach of the WHO Global Oral Health Programme. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2003;31(Supp 1):3–24. DOI: 10.1046/j.2003.com122.x.
  2. Parker E, Misan G, et al. An oral health literacy intervention for Indigenous adults in a rural setting in Australia. BMC Public Health 2012;12:461. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-461.
  3. The Anganwadi Workers of India – Connecting for Health, Education, Childcare at the Grassroots Level [Internet]. 2017 [cited 17 November 2017]. Available from:
  4. Social Justice, Kerala [Internet]. 2017 [cited 17 November 2017]. Available from:
  5. Daly B, Watt RG, et al. Principles of Oral Health Promotion. Essential Dental Public Health. New Delhi: Oxford University Press; 2002. pp. 135–152.
  6. Koyio L, Van der Sanden W, et al. A community-based oral health promotion model for HIV patients in Nairobi, East District in Kenya: a study protocol. J Public Health Res 2013;2(1):22–28. DOI: 10.4081/jphr.2013.e5.
  7. Khanagar S, Kini P, et al. Oral health care education and its effect on caregivers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices: A randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent 2014;4(2):122–128. DOI: 10.4103/2231-0762.139843.
  8. Tewari A, Gauba K, et al. Evaluation of the change in the knowledge of community regarding infant dental care subsequent to intervention strategies through existing health manpower in rural areas of Haryana (India). J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 1994;12:29–34.
  9. Nakre P, Harikiran A. Effectiveness of oral health education programs: A systematic review. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent 2013;3(2):103. DOI: 10.4103/2231-0762.127810.
  10. Bali RK, Mathur VB, et al. National oral health survey and fluoride mapping 2002–2003 India. New Delhi: Dental Council of India; 2004.
  11. WHO|Strategies for oral disease prevention and health promotion [Internet]. 2017 [cited 17 November 2017]. Available from:
  12. Khatib N, Zodpey S, et al. Prevalence and determinant of early childhood caries among the children attending the Anganwadis of Wardha district, India. Indian. J Dent Res 2013;24(2):199–205.
  13. Basavaraj SP, Basha S, et al. Knowledge of early childhood caries among Anganwadi workers in Davangere city, India. Int J Oral Health Sci 2013;3:75–78. DOI: 10.4103/2231-6027.135976.
  14. Shakya A, Rao A, et al. Oral health related knowledge and attitude of Anganwadi workers of Mangaluru city, India. J Chitwan Med Coll 2013;3:6–8. DOI: 10.3126/jcmc.v3i4.9545.
  15. Gangwar C, Kumar M, et al. KAP toward oral health, oral hygiene and dental caries status among Anganwadi workers in Bareilly city, Uttar Pradesh: A cross-sectional survey. J Dent Sci Oral Rehabil 2014;5:53–57.
  16. Shilpa M, Jain J, et al. Knowledge, attitude, and practices of Anganwadi workers regarding oral health of children in Virajpet Taluk. J Adv Oral Res 2014;5:18–23. DOI: 10.1177/2229411220140304.
  17. Pulikeezhu Block Panchayat, [Internet]. Lsgkerala. in. 2017 [cited 17 November 2017]. Available from:
  18. Kakodkar P, Matsyapal CK, et al. Anganwadi workers as Oral Health Guides: An interventional study. J Dent Res Sci Develop 2015;2:33–37. DOI: 10.4103/2348-3407.159445.
  19. Kar SB, Pascual CA, et al. Empowerment of women for health promotion: a meta-analysis. Soc Sci Med 1999;49(11):1431–1460. DOI: 10.1016/S0277-9536(99)00200-2.
  20. Goel S, Goel N, et al. Evaluation of short term impact of two training packages on oral health knowledge and skills of Anganwadi workers of a Northern City of India: Before and after comparison study. SRM J Res Dent Sci 2014 Oct;5(4):237. DOI: 10.4103/0976-433X. 145124.
  21. Raj S, Goel S, et al. Shortterm impact of oral hygiene training package to Anganwadi workers on improving oral hygiene of preschool children in North Indian City. BMC Oral Health 2013;13(1):67. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6831-13-67.
  22. Nair MKC, Renjit M, et al. Effectiveness of a community oral health awareness program. Indian Pediatr 2009;46(Suppl):s86–s90.
  23. Sandhya MP, Shanthi M, et al. Effectiveness of oral health education among primary health care workers at the primary health center in Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2014;12(2):74–79.
  24. Madhavi LH, Singh HKG. A study on knowledge of Anganwadi workers & their problems in rural field practice area of Hebbal, Gulbarga district. J Med Educ Res 2011;1(2):62–67.
  25. Seema TN. Performance of Anganwadi workers in Kerala: An evaluation and experiment to develop a model center with community participation.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.