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Outreach Project

The Paedodontic Society of SA has started an outreach program

Our Vision
To be instrumental in curing oral disease in the underprivileged children of our country. 

Our Motivation
We as Dentists, who have a special love and interest in children, and who (the majority of us) have lived, been educated and practiced in South Africa, strongly feel the need to give something back and help the less privileged with the skills we have.

Our Plan
To give our time and expertise and to involve other role players who have the finance and infrastructure to support our project

Our Beginning
We held the launch of our Outreach Program on the 26th November 2010 at the PI Branemark Institute in Morningside. The Institute is a training facility and research centre of excellence, for our dental community, initiated by Professor Brånemark. The facility houses state of the art equipment.

42 grade one children, (aged 7-8) from the Kingsway Christian School in Randburg were transported to the institute. Most of these children live in the Zandspruit informal settlement.  The school is sponsored privately by fundraising projects.

The children and teachers who accompanied them were given thorough Oral Hygiene instruction by Oral hygienists who volunteered to help. Colgate supplied each child with a hamper of toothpaste and a toothbrush.  They were taught how to brush teeth and had the chance to practice the brushing at basins under the instructions of the oral hygienists. The teachers each received a special educational package so that they could reinforce the lessons given on oral hygiene and hand washing.

A panoramic x-ray was taken of each child and they had their teeth examined by our dentist volunteers, Dr’s Stephen Horwitz, Paulo Agnostinetto, Brad Selvin, Maria Pestana, Tony Widmonte, Sivi Mudly, Frank Fish and Juliana Mathews.  

We combined this with a lot of fun activities for the children. They had their faces painted, supervised games and colouring in activities, and a balloon artist made the most beautiful balloons. Healthy delicious snacks were provided, ensuring that the children had a wonderful day and their first exposure to a dentist and dental treatment was exciting and memorable.

Our Thanks

  • The Branemark Institute, for the use of their facilities & staff
  • E-doc who helped to get sponsors for the travelling, snacks provided, etc.
  • Avis – supplied the bus
  • Colgate for education material, packs for children & teachers and hampers for the doctors.
  • Wright-Millners Dental Company for their generous donations of materials like fluoride varnish, prophy paste and various other restoratives, gloves and masks provided for us.  The Wright-Millners Dental Company is currently building up a kitty of products for future use.

 
The way forward
Alarmingly, most of these children have problems in their teeth. Out of the 42 children, only 4 had no decayed or missing teeth.  The rest had anything from 1 to 8 or more cavities. This concurs with the current research worldwide – It is reported that 75 % of children in 3rd world areas/countries that stay out of school for being ill, is ill because of dental problems. Prof Ramos Gomez from the University of California. He gave an excellent lecture on this topic at the SADA congress in 2010.  He works amongst the Mexican children (third world/poor children), at the University of California, and developed a clinic, as well as very useful literature in this regard.  To get more information on this, please go to: http://cando.ucsf.edu/. The programme is called CANDO.

The Paedodontic Society of South Africa has undertaken to ensure that these children will have the treatment necessary to get a healthy pain free oral cavity.

A big thank you to all the dentists and helpers that were involved.

We would like to invite all of you to get involved in the project.  We will be sending more information and time schedules where you can book sessions to come and help these children. 

  • We would appreciate all advice input and ideas.
  • We are also looking for ways to expand, so if anyone could suggest any other clinics or venues we could use, or if any dentists would be prepare to treat these children in their dental surgeries please contact us.
  • We also need more sponsorship of materials & equipment 

 

Proposed dates for Clinics in 2012
February             Friday 17th
March                 Friday 16th
April                    Friday 13th
May                    Friday 25th
June                   Friday 15th
July                    Friday 27th
August               Friday 17th
September         Friday 14th
October              Friday 26th
November          Friday 16th

 

Contact Details
Dr Marietjie Weakley
079 755 3810
011 475 0572/3
drmw@dental-ladies.co.za
To all of you, thank you again for letting us run the clinic at the Branemark Institute, as well as Millners for the materials and the School, all who are involved!

By Dr Marietjie Weakley

 

 

 
 
 
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