For local communities in rural areas in Western Kenya dental care is largely inaccessible. At the same time local diets are changing, being complemented increasingly by sweets and soft drinks. Statistics show that tooth decay and poor oral health in children are increasing rapidly due to inadequate nutrition and care. The proposed project sets out to address these issues in the schools where children will be treated, taught about nutrition and how to brush their teeth.
Only approx. 1000 dentists practise in Kenya- a country with a population of 42 million people. 82% of these dentists work in urban areas. Communities in rural areas are thus almost entirely without dental care. Due to a change of diet that is now more and more being supplemented with sweets and soft drinks people suffer increasingly from caries and tooth decay. They lack knowledge about nutrition and oral hygiene and can thus not pass it on to their children- who are affected most.
The project will address these issues by providing knowledge on nutrition, teaching dental hygene and providing treatments to children in schools in rural areas in Western Kenya. All children in the respective schools will be examined. They will receive a tooth brush and tooth paste and will be instructed as to how to brush their teeth properly. Those children who are identified as being in need of treatment during examinations will be invited for free treatments to the nearest DfA dental unit.
Poor dental health and bad nutrition evidently compromises childrens overall health and well-being as well as their performance in school. In the long run this project will thus empower the children and enable them to have a better, healthier future. The knowledge imparted in the course of the project will help these children to maintain not only their health, it will be passed on within families and most importantl to the next generation of children.