Maragua Division, Kenya
One of the major causes of hunger in Kenya is the over-reliance on corn and beans as the staple foods. These are crops that cannot withstand adverse weather conditions such as drought. Our community has however successfully adopted cassava to enhance food security. The good news has spread far and wide. We recently hosted a group of researchers from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute who wanted to know the impact that cassava has had on the food security status of our community. We showed them around and gave them a presentation on our work as well. We hope that they can learn from our experience and initiate a national program on cassava cultivation. The attached photo shows a community member explaining how she has benefited from the crop. In front of her are young cassava tubers.
Having already left the university, I am back in the village where I am volunteering in the planning of my county's (Murang'a County) Agricultural Show, next month.
Thank you for your continued support to help us achieve food security and to spread the word about the benefits of cassava.
We are so happy to report the overall success of our new nonprofit, DentCare Kenya, and also the individual
success stories of those who we have had the privilege to serve. In addition to focusing on teeth, we also provide information to individuals on their overall health. I would like to share with you the
personal stories of some of the beneficiaries of our free dental services. Please read below the stories of
Raymond, James, Sylvester and Peninah.
Raymond suffered from gum disease which is an infection in the gum tissues and bone that has
been linked to heart disease and strokes. He is also diabetic
so this contributed to the disease as it makes teeth more susceptible as it reduces the body’s
resistance to infections. Further, high glucose levels promote the growth of bacteria. He was
treated and advised to take proper care of his teeth especially owing to his vulnerability from the
diabetes. He was also advised to be keen in maintaining control over his blood sugar.
I had gone to see another dentist and I was advised to have a root canal treatment for my molar
tooth. I did not get much information from the doctor and so when I saw the camp going on at
Kenyatta National Hospital, I decided to attend. I wanted to know what a root canal was. I was
informed that human teeth may have one to four (1-4) root canals, depending on the anatomy of
the tooth. Molars may have 2 to 4 canals. The doctor went ahead to say that these canals contain
the pulp of the tooth also commonly referred to as the nerve, which originates from the pulp
chamber. Any trauma or infection of the nerve will result in the need for root canal therapy. I got
to know of the common reasons for root canal therapy which include:
Tooth decay invading the tooth, penetrating through the enamel and then the dentin into the pulp.
A tooth has become abscessed or infected from decay.
Trauma from a chipped or broken tooth that results in the exposure of the nerve.
A tooth that is slowly dying, due to aging or past trauma that did not result in the need for
treatment at the time of injury.
I was informed that root canal therapy can be performed in a single or multiple visits. The
doctors started me on antibiotics as I had an infection. I was advised to complete the dosage
before the root canal treatment could be commenced. I hope to go back to the dentist’s again to
have the treatment completed.
I have been having oral ulcers every month. They come and after about two weeks they heal.
It is really frustrating and that’s why I decided to come to the dentist when I heard of the free
dental camp. The dentist told me that my condition is known as recurrent oral ulcers. The ulcers
are small, round or oval shaped and they have a pale yellow color to them and the surrounding
area will be swollen and red. They are associated with a lot of pain and even eating becomes a
gruesome activity. I was advised to use some oral ointment that will relieve the pain and promote
faster healing. At the same time I was asked to have my blood checked for any conditions that
could be associated the oral ulcers. I just hope that I will find relief and I will have this problem
My little girl, Teresa Achieng, 11years old, has her teeth growing badly. The milk teeth would
not loosen enough to be removed and the next set of permanent teeth were already showing. I
was told by a friend about Dentcare Kenya and I attended their free medical camp. My daughter
was assessed and treated. Two of her lower ‘milk’ teeth were extracted. The dentists said that
her teeth had really long roots and that is why she had that problem. Thank you Dentcare for that
help. I look forward to attending more of your medical camps.
We are very grateful to you for supporting us in our efforts to improve the oral health care of the needy in Kenya.
You are making a huge difference!
Thank you so much for supporting Jemimah Peters, Dennis Mutwiri, and Michael Murigi. Dennis and Michael are finishing up their degrees at the University of Nairobi and will be graduating in December. We are very proud of all they have accomplished both academically and with their community projects. Below is an update on the specific progress the three of them have made in the last few months.
Jemimah Peters: My project is doing quite well. The group of 11 women is currently engaged in the poultry project and vegetable farming. They have 37 chicken:3 cocks and 34 hens. About 2 months ago, some of the hens started laying eggs (see photo). Initially, they were selling the eggs to the villagers, each going for 10 KSh, from which the women got an approximate amount of KSh 750. However, they stopped selling them and they are now keeping the eggs for hatching. There are two hens now, one with 10 eggs and another with 7 which are under incubation. Besides the poultry, the group is engaged in vegetable irrigation (see photo), and as from last week, the sukuma wiki were ready for consumption. In addition, I have introduced our group to WEF (Women Enterprise Fund), a government agency established to provide interest free loans to women groups in Kenya to start and/or expand businesses. I contacted the WEF officer based in our county and he is yet to give me an appropriate date to go train the members on various investment opportunities, which is a requirement before the group can access any loans. I will be giving more information on that later. Attached below are some the photos. Thank you for helping to uplift my community. Jemimah
Dennis Mutwiri: It is coming to the end of my undergraduate career. I am very proud of my community for all that they have accomplished through GlobalGiving and PATWHAYS, We have a sustainable nursery with over 5 000 trees, a profitable fishery, a solar panel project that is helping to use the power of the sun to help people power their phones and appliances in an environmentally friendly way. One of my main goals with this project was to help our local environment by harnassing the sun and planting trees to combat deforestation. In addition, my community has instituted a merry go round or a microlending group so that people can help one another with loans and avoid the high interest rates charged by the local banks. This program has jump started our economy and we even have more plans for the future. You have greatly impacted our community- thank you! Dennis
Michael Murigi: I wish to inform you that we were last week privileged to host a group of PhD scholars at our demo plot. The agronomists are currently engaged with the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa and are drawn from the whole of Africa. We purchased the initial cassava cuttings from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). The project to develop the new cassava varieties had been financed by AGRA. However, a limitation of KARI is that its outreach to farmers is limited. Agricultural research projects are done but there are no structures to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge, information and materials to farmers. This is the gap that our project fills. We grow the newer and better cassava varieties in our demo plot and distribute these to farmers. It is unfortunate that there is no other group in the whole country doing that and in fact if any farmer wanted the new cassava varieties they can only get from us. We are indeed filling an important niche with our project. The Agronomists were pleased to learn how a community benefited from a research project that was funded by AGRA. You are making a huge difference in the lives of my community members. We are grateful! Michael