Rotary Club of Lilongwe (RCL) has assisted residents of Lilongwe and surrounding areas with dental needs through a dental camp held at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) from March 6 to 10, 2023.
President of the Rotary Club of Lilongwe, Dr. Margaret Sikwese said the club conducted the dental camp targeting to serve 1, 200 people who cannot afford to pay for dental services.
“In addition, we also wanted to support KCH to better serve citizens by providing the much-needed support with consumables worth approximately K6.5 million,” Sikwese said.
She said RCL is aware that there are people in communities who have dental challenges but cannot afford to pay for such services.
She said dental and oral hygiene is very important in one’s life hence offering the service.
“We cannot just ignore those who are struggling to attain dental health without doing anything. Therefore, we thought it wise to offer this opportunity, annually, to ensure that as many people as possible access dental health through this camp.
“In addition, our hospitals have an inadequate supply of consumables to attend to dental patients. We, therefore, provided the consumables to KCH to enable them to treat those with dental issues for free,” said Sikwese.
According to Sikwese, a recent study shows that dental issues are not given the attention that they need because not many researchers report on the issue in Malawi.
However, available research (Msyamboza et al, 2016) points to the fact that 21 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 15 years and 49 percent of adults aged 35 years or more had dental caries, while 48 percent and 80 percent of the population aged 35 to 44 and 65 to 74 years had missing teeth respectively.
Dental caries, whose causes include bacteria, sipping sugary drinks, and poor teeth cleaning among others, are permanently damaged areas in teeth that develop into tiny holes.
Sikwese said the study also showed that women were affected more than men and brushing of teeth was not practiced by a large number of persons.
“Basic oral and dental hygiene starts with brushing teeth. If this basic practice is not common, then we will continue to face an increased number of citizens suffering from oral and dental health challenges,” Sikwese said.
One of the beneficiaries of the camp, Sarah Banda said was thankful for the camp saying it has helped her as she has been struggling with dental issues for some time.
“Dental services are expensive to attain. I am glad that I have managed to get this treatment for free. I would like to express my gratitude to RCL for this service,” Banda said.
The Dental Camp was made possible with funds raised from a golf tournament that took place in 2022.