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Since 2005, the Scottish Government has been working on a number of ways to tackle poor oral health in children. We have launched a number of Government-funded successful projects
A young person in my constituency recently had 10 tooth extractions, which is unacceptable, and there are many other such cases throughout Scotland. What action has been taken to inform parents, to ensure that they take responsibility for their children's oral health? What action is taken to deal with parents who do not accept the message that they must ensure that their children have good oral health?
A range of education and awareness programmes make clear to parents their responsibility for looking after their children's health in general—and for the purposes of this question, their children's oral health in particular. The childsmile school programme is important in ensuring that all children have access to preventive care interventions in primary 1 and 2. The programme is operating successfully in schools throughout Scotland.
Although I would never downplay the seriousness of constituency cases such as that which Paul Martin has just raised, the figures throughout Scotland give us optimism that children's oral health is improving. In 2008, almost 60 per cent of primary 1 children were found to have no obvious dental decay, which is the best result for that age group in Scotland since records began. There is a considerable amount of work still to do, but I am encouraged by the fact that we are going in the right direction.
That concludes general questions. Before we move to the next item of business, Parliament will wish to note that I have written to the consul general for Poland, asking that he pass on the condolences of the entire Parliament to the Polish people, both here and in Poland, following the tragic plane crash in Smolensk last week.