By Tamadur Mahmoud Falah, MSDH, Tara L. Newcomb, BSDH, MS, Amber W. Hunt, BSDH, MS, RDH and Abdullah Al-Taiar, MD, DC, MSC, PhD
Oral health professionals work in a global society where opportunities exist to acquire cultural knowledge through cross-cultural encounters and cultural competency training. Supported by the understanding that variability exists within cultures as a complex whole, cultural awareness leads to care modifications that recognize and integrate patients’ traditional beliefs and practices.1–3 One facet that deserves special attention concerns patients’ cultural habits. For example, it is estimated that more than 20 million people worldwide chew khat (Catha edulis),4 which is cultivated and consumed as part of social traditions in Ethiopia, Kenya, Yemen, Somalia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Madagascar.5 Recently, khat has traveled with people to Europe, Norway, Great Britain, North America, and Australia. Globally, Yemeni people are one of the largest consumers of khat, with the World Health Organization estimating that 70% to 90% of men, 30% to 50% of women, and 25% of children in Yemen chew khat daily.6,7
* References can be found in the original article via the link below.