KIHEFO promotes local initiated solutions to fight disease, ignorance and poverty in southwestern Uganda
After four days of Dental & Health Clinics organized in the communities of Nangara, Buhara, Maziba and Kagarama, KIHEFO and the Canadian dental brigade from Change for Children Association and Kindness in Action provided treatment for upwards of 800 people living in rural Kabale.
On February 7th, Day 3 of the Clinics, the African/Canadian health-team visited the community of Maziba, where they transformed the Anglican Church into a mobile dental clinic, and erected canvas tents on the grass for general health and family planning consultation.
A nursery school teacher, Giradina Kukundakwe, who teaches at the Kamuronko Primary School in Maziba, arrived early to the clinic, and waited with twelve of her students who were in need of dental care.
One of the students was Ainembabazi Surrendar Shallon, only five years old, who walks to school everyday – leaving her grandmother’s house at 5 am, and arriving at school by 8 am. Shallon was experiencing tooth pain, and had never seen a dentist before. She waited with her classmates, and was seen by one of the Canadian dentists – who successfully extracted the decaying tooth that was causing Shallon so much pain.
Keingana Felestance, 60 years old, who described herself as “a woman of God”, had left her home in Kavu at 4 am – and walked with a group of elders from her village nearly six hours to reach the clinic in Maziba. She had been experiencing pain in her front teeth for many years, and, at times, was unable to eat or sleep. Keingana received treatment from Innocent – who was the only Ugandan dentist to participate in the clinic.
Protazio Rugirehe, 50 years old, had walked two hours from the community of Birambo to receive treatment. He had heard about KIHEFO’s 1-day clinic through an announcement at his church and over the local radio, and arrived to have a decaying tooth extracted. Protazio had never seen a professional dentist before. He explained that friends or neighbours would typically assist with removing teeth – using household tools, which would cause pain and possibly lead to infection. He was hopeful that his own children would prevent dental problems through daily brushing and care.
Despite providing services to over 800 people, many others had walked long distances and could not be attended to due to the large volume of people seeking treatment – which indicates that the health needs of people in rural Kigezi are immense.
The final Dental & Health clinic will take place tomorrow (Feb. 12th) in Rutanga, Kanungu District.