New Dental Clinic
With fewer than 50 dentists in Malawi for a population of more than 19 million people, there is a huge need for dental care everywhere. Most of these dentists provide their services at private clinics and private hospitals in urban communities. These services are too expensive for most Malawians who live on less than a dollar a day. To solve this problem, Malawi is training Clinical Officers to work as Dental Technicians in the public sector.
We are excited that Lifeline Malawi has recently been able to start a bi-weekly dental clinic for people in our community at the LM Health Centre. A few months ago, we received a donation of dental equipment left behind by visiting dentists from the Netherlands who had to quickly Malawi at the beginning of the pandemic. Their donation was made through Action Medeor, a medical supplier to NGOs.
It is not surprising to find widespread tooth decay and gum disease amongst the people in our community, mostly due to poor diet and poor oral hygiene. The services we offer are simple - tooth extraction, scaling, polishing, and filling teeth, plus prescribing drugs for pain relief. Another important aspect of the work is to provide education on oral care, both at the clinic and in the community.
The next thing we hope to get is a simple dental chair!