Dental care is an anchor of a healthy body. Many people may not know that dental diagnoses can detect abnormalities including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. For this reason, everyone deserves access to basic dental care, with adequate dental equipment and supplies.
Phase II of our Dental Health Program 2016-17
Upasuaji mdogo/huduma za kinywa na meno (Minor Surgical Ward for the Mouth and Teeth)
The dental clinic at the Maruku Dispensary consists of a room, a desk, a bench and a tiny amount of supplies. A patient with a toothache enters the room, sits on the bench, raises their chin towards the light. They are anesthetized, and then their tooth is extracted. Recent research indicates how oral health impacts total body health. Maruku dispensary sees approximately 60-70 patients a day, and dental infections are regularly seen diseases. Your generous donation towards the shipment of dental equipment and supplies to establish a proper dental operating room at the Maruku Dispensary is greatly appreciated.
UPDATE August 2017: Thanks to our many donors, the dental equipment shipment has arrived safely and is currently in Dar es Salaam. AHEAD members plan on returning to Maruku in October 2017 to conduct dental training with Maruku dispensary staff using the new equipment.
UPDATE October 2017: Dr. Donna Williams and Dr. Yonga Ngirwa successfully delivered the shipped dental equipment to both Bukoba and Maruku. Dr. Williams was able to teach procedures to dental trainees, who will go on to share their new knowledge with other dentists. A big thank you to all our volunteers and donors who made it happen!
AHEAD Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program
This program was created in collaboration with Project Change and the Comprehensive Community Based and Rehabilitation Hospital in Tanzania (CCBRT).
This initiative was the brainchild of AHEAD Board of Director, Dr. Deborah Tuzo, DDS, MPH, in 2006.
A renowned orthodontic surgeon and public health expert, Dr. Tuzo developed a partnership between these three entities to establish this program. It identifies children and young adults in need a facial reconstructive surgery to correct the disfigurement caused by congenital cleft palates and cleft lips. Cleft palates and lips are a major problem in Tanzania. Children suffering from this problem face difficult lives; they are malnourished because they can not eat, they are at high risk for infection, and are often socially ostracized and unable to find work.
With the surgical expertise of Project Change founder, Dr. Chris Johnson -Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Tuzo, and their team of professionals, and the staff at CCBRT, AHEAD has established a mechanism where the patients, their families and the AHEAD health professionals partner together. Each patient and their families, identified by AHEAD, are sponsored and supported throughout the entire pre- and post-operative surgical process. Families from remote villages are transported to Dar es Salaam. They are counseled about the surgery and potential outcomes. All are housed and fed while the patient undergoes a through evaluation before surgery, all free of charge.
Since its first surgery in 2007, the AHEAD Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program has helped over 30 children in rural Tanzania to smile. Dr. Tuzo notes “this partnership is an extraordinary experience, where by working together, we are able to witness firsthand, the dramatic improvements that our work accomplishes in the lives of these patients and their families!”