Taking stock one year after opening: our goals have in some cases been more than achieved. Our focus is on multiplication and high sustainability.
We not only treat a lot of patients at the clinic, we also work together with the university, offering practical training to the students. And we provide further training for teachers and clinic personnel.
The centerpiece of the new clinic setup is the school dental program. Similar to what has been standard practice in Europe for decades, school students are examined, treated and instructed on dental hygiene.
The first year was a complete success. In 2016 we achieved the following:
We provided dental treatment to over 5,000 adults – instead of 3,000 as originally planned.
For the most part the treatment was free of charge
We examined nearly 6,000 school students – instead of 4,000 as originally planned.
We also instructed them on dental hygiene and where necessary (around two thirds of the children) provided them with free treatment
We gave practical training to 75 dental students
Altogether, around 11,000 people benefited directly from the project. Women and children in particular, who made up around 70 percent of our patients, received free treatment.
Ten percent were children with disabilities, orphans or street children, who would otherwise have had no chance of receiving dental treatment. Then we also provided additional training to teachers and clinic personnel.
After the successful start to the clinic, we are focusing this year in particular on this aspect of training up the teachers and personnel.
Statistically Afghanistan has less than 0.5 practicing dentists for every 10,000 residents (To give you a comparison: Germany has 8 dentists for the same number of residents).