Friends of St. Michael’s Girls Primary School Busembatia Uganda

Visit from the Dentist

Following on from the success of the 4 day visit from the UK of the 14 man Dentaid team in September 2013 we have been unsuccessful in finding a local Ugandan dentist who was prepared to come to the school once a term to treat the staff/girls and to run workshops for the whole school about the importance of brushing their teeth. However, Barbara Koffman, the Dentaid coordinator, introduced us to Ryan Shinska. He is an American Dentist - a Christian who has been called to serve the poor in Uganda. He lives and works in Jinja about 2 hours away, but comes up with his team of dental nurses once a term to treat the girls who are suffering. At the end of the clinic the nurses talk to the pupils and staff about good practices and demonstrate how to brush correctly. There is still some way to go to say that we have turned the corner and all the girls brush their teeth properly twice a day.

There are still girls who do not have a toothbrush and many parents buy the cheapest toothpaste with no fluoride . Of course there is much relief from the girls that Ryan uses anaesthetic, and although no one likes a visit to the Dentist, the alternative is normally NO anaesthetic and a pair of pliers — so the staff and pupils rather look forward to the “Visit from the Dentist” !