A team of dentists from Germany have been traveling to the same small fishing village in the Western Cape province of South Africa since 2009.
Returning each year, the team has worked to establish good oral hygiene and address serious dental needs in what was considered the worst province in South Africa for dental caries.*
In this region of South Africa, the incidence of decayed, missing, and filled teeth was found to be almost double the national average for kids aged five to 15. There was also high incidence of gingivitis and overall evidence of neglected oral hygiene.* Read about the team’s most recent trip to combat these issues in the blog below.
For eight years, our team of ten dentists from the dental office KU64, together with the non-profit organization BIG SMILE e.V., has been driving to a small fishing village called Paternoster in South Africa. The village is about 160 km away from Cape Town, and we travel there to make sure children can maintain healthy smiles.
This year travelling to Paternoster, we treated 137 children and 10 adults. We were confronted with some serious conditions among families, and experienced children with as many as 12 carious teeth.
There’s no question that our support is absolutely necessary.
Over the years, we have also noticed the positive trend that the awareness of dental care is growing and our goal of long-term education is making an impact. Our team is well-received in the fishing village and the children feel very safe with us.
BIG SMILE e.V. thanks Henry Schein for the generous in-kind donation. It is proven that healthy teeth are important for not only school success, but also for personal self-esteem and confidence in social settings.
Children have a right to healthy teeth – everywhere in the world!
*Sourced from the most recent available data from the Western Cape Government Health Department.
Written by Martin Boschmann, Project Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility at KU64 Dr. Ziegler & Partner dental practice in Berlin, Germany.
(Translation: THANK YOU in Afrikaans is just as well as in German 🙂 We are in the middle of the treatment days, but it is time to say thank you. Where do we start? Henry Schein Dental we thank for countless dental care products!!!)
The KU64 dental team was supported by in-kind donation of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and prophylaxis materials from Henry Schein Dental Germany.