Access to Dental Care in Kenya
Kenya has a population of almost 50 million people but only little more than 1000 registered dentists, approx. 80% of whom work in cities and built-up areas. Particularly the population in remote rural areas has little or no access to dental care.
In order to improve dental care in rural areas in Kenya, Dentists for Africa has established 14 dental units, mostly in the Western part of the county. Proceeding from our dental units we regularly organize mobile outreach programs in order to provide dental care, especially to those who cannot afford the money for transport. Apart from that, we place an emphasis on prophylaxis at schools to educate children about oral health and nutrition and protect them from caries and oral diseases.
Our goal is to provide dental care to people in need in Kenya.
During mobile outreach programs we mainly provide surgical treatments.
The dental units are equipped for comprehensive dental treatments.
We place an emphasis on providing prophylactic measures.
Focus on Education and Training
Beneficiaries of our sponsorship program receive funding for vocational trainings in fields related to dentistry. After graduation they work in the dental units and use their skills to the benefit of local communities and people in need. This is rare in Kenya where dentists usually move to the cities for economic reasons and it makes our projects particularly sustainable.
We organize several training and capacity building seminars every year where participants learn soft skills, social competences and content related to dentistry. An emphasis is placed on the practical aspects that are being largely neglected in the Kenyan education system. Four Community Oral Health Officers and three dentists have already finished their training. An additional seven students are studying Community Oral Health.
DfA has been working with two Franciscan orders since 1999. They have proven to be reliable and transparent partners.
The Franciscan Sisters administrate private hospitals in Kenya, where DfA has installed dental units. The cooperation is particularly beneficial because of the relatively good structures the catholic church has established in Kenya. Through their work with people in need they also have pre-existing, close relations with local communities and are familiar with the challenges people are facing. Moreover, the sisters are well trained in many fields. The Franciscans have a broad range of professionals at their disposal, such as nurses, teachers and project managers. DfA has sponsored courses in dentistry for two Franciscans and they now work in our dental units, where they are also responsible for the training of their young colleagues.