Dental care for South Sudanese refugees
Refugees from South Sudan living on the northern Ugandan border have received dental treatment and oral health education programmes thanks to the dental charity Dentaid.
As a result of its Christmas fundraising appeal, Dentaid was able to fund a team of its Ugandan associates to travel to Mijale in Yumbe District. Thousands of refugees, who fled the fighting in South Sudan, live in 10 large camps which have basic medical facilities but no access to dental care.
Dentaid’s Ugandan associate Angel Nsubuga and his team ran oral health education sessions and clinics offering screening and pain relieving treatments.
“The district has no dental facility at all which means that there is no dentist in the whole area,” said Dr Nsubuga. “People have a series of dental problems that means they resort to traditional healers and as a result there’s chronic pain and complications. We offered different treatments to the community – teeth that could still be saved were conserved with ART and grossly carious teeth were extracted under local anaesthesia.”
The team also ran sessions to educate the community about tooth brushing, dental diseases and causes of tooth decay.
Discussions are now underway about expanding dental services in the refugee camps and Dentaid will continue to fundraise to run further outreach clinics in Mijale.
Dentaid has worked in Uganda for the last 15 years and supports a network of dental professionals who provide outreach clinics in poor and remote communities. This is supported by a volunteering programme where UK dental professionals spend two weeks working alongside Dentaid’s Ugandan partners in schools, orphanages, prisons and community buildings.