The outreach was the first of its kind at the prison and it began at 9.30am with checking in at the quarter guard. The team was cleared to enter and begin work.
Ndorwa prison is the largest correctional facility located in Kigezi subregion, South West Uganda covering districts of Kabale, Rukiga, Rubanda, Kisoro and Kanungu. Most of the inmates originate from poor households and are accused of offences such as gender based violence, defaulting on loan and debt repayment, civil cases, illegal entry into the country and so forth. The prison hosts a low level health facility without a dental professional. A number of inmates are victims of HIV/AIDS and are enrolled for antiretroviral treatment and TB care. A list of dental cases is often compiled and then they are transported to the hospital for treatment.
However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, they have since been issued with a directive from prisons headquarters prohibiting referral of any case outside prison premise to prevent infection. Therefore majority of the inmates that have been waiting in silence, only relieved by pain killers.
The majority of inmates presented with chronic dental conditions such as pulpitis and periodontal issues etc. The general oral hygiene was poor due to lack of toothpaste and brushes. Some of the inmates had dental abscesses.
“ I have been relieved from a big burden!” said one of the inmates after treatment. We saw 60 patients – 45 male and 15 female and extracted 40 painful teeth.
Like any other prison, there were many restrictions. We were allowed in with our phones but stopped from taking photos and the few we had were deleted by one of the officers.
It was an emotional moment for us since the oral hygiene and general conditions of the inmates were not good.
The outreach was generally successful and the majority of the inmates were relieved from dental pain. Ambrose Dentaid Ugandan Associate