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Welcome to Outreach clinic at DuNoon

The faculty was approached by SHAWCO from UCT about joining them at Saturday morning clinics as they saw so many patients in need of dental treatment and they do not have dental personnel


 Faculty of Dentistry outreach clinic at DuNoon 13th August 2011


The faculty was approached by SHAWCO from UCT about joining them at Saturday morning clinics as they saw so many patients in need of dental treatment and they do not have dental personnel.


The SHAWCO mobile clinic                                          Two little characters


Our visit coincided with the monthly SHAWCO paediatric clinic day at the Ubunye Early Childhood Development Centre in DuNoon.  It was a good opportunity to provide dental services and to interact with the UCT students doing medicine, dietetics, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.  There even was an elective 5th year medical student from Oxford University who showed great interest in our work.


Classrooms become surgeries

We set up portable equipment in 3 classrooms and made use of the 2 chairs in our mobile clinic as well.  Ubunye has a very nice enclosed area that we used as a waiting room.  One classroom was used for screening and anaesthetizing and the others for treatment.  This way we could see more patients, and keep a check on progress during the day.

The Waiting Room                                                                         At work

We were short of 5th year students as they had an OSCE on 15th August but the two that did come did sterling work screening and doing some of the more difficult treatment.  The rest of the student team was made up of five 4th year students and they performed extremely well.

We had seven dentists with us – Prof AJ Louw, Dr Costa Saridakis from private practice in Milnerton, and the two registrars in Community Oral Health – Dr Khabiso Ramphoma and Dr Dirk Smit.  The Paediatric Dentistry division also came along in the persons of Dr Fathima Peerbhay and Dr Alisha Naidoo and they were involved in supervising the students as well as training the three teachers from Ubunye on how to implement a toothbrushing programme at the school and they provided all the necessary materials to the school.


We started at about 08:45 and called it a day at 15:30 when the last patient had been seen.  SHAWCO came a bit later and left earlier as they had fewer patients.

Lunch was provided by the Dean, Prof Yusuf Osman.  The UCT students were most impressed that not only does our dean come out and visit us, but he brings the lunch too!

Despite some students observing a fast, work continued apace.  The flow of patients coming for treatment continued all morning, so there was not a huge crowd in the waiting room.  By the end of the day we had seen 89 patients, extracted 51 primary and 88 secondary teeth, filled 3 teeth, performed a scaling on 4 patients and performed one other minor surgical procedure.

SHAWCO want us to join them again next month, but we have other trips scheduled.  However, we will return to Dunoon, the need there is great, the facility infrastructure works well and the collaboration with UCT is a first for us.  Being a paediatric clinic, there are lots of children there and so we need to take Oral Hygienists with us next time – health promotion opportunities abound.

Packing up the equipment, instruments and materials
After an hour of cleaning up and loading the equipment, we returned to Tygerberg at 17:00 feeling tired but satisfied that we had made a difference in the lives of at least some people.
I would like to thank the Faculty of Dentistry for funding this outreach, and our faithful support staff; Felicity Vanqa (dental assistant), John Philander and Hansie Koopman (our drivers) without whom this would not have been possible.  Also, a big thank-you to the staff of Ubunye ECD centre for allowing us to disrupt their lives and re-organize their classrooms!
A special word of thanks is due to the UCT students who run the SHAWCO clinic at DuNoon, Lyndal Alexander and Kamlin Ekambaram, for all their hard work and planning to get this off the ground.
Both staff and students have done us proud once again.  There are at least 89 people in DuNoon who also say thank you!

Faculty of Dentistry Outreach to Dunoon 25 August 2012

The Faculty of Dentistry returned to Dunoon for another outreach clinic on Saturday 25 August 2012.  This was arranged in conjunction with UCT’s SHAWCO paediatric clinic which is held there at the same time.  We used the facilities of Ubunye ECD centre. A team of four 5th year, seven 4th year and three 3rd year Dental students together with two 3rd year Oral Hygiene students and five lecturers took part.

We departed from the Tygerberg campus soon after 8 am and were ready to start treatment at 9am (thanks to the equipment having been set up the day before).  It was cold, windy and wet but that didn’t deter the patients who sought our help.  Fortunately, we used the enclosed play area as a waiting room and three of the classrooms as surgeries as well as the mobile clinic parked just outside.

The Waiting room at the beginning                         The Screening and sterilization area


As we had done on previous occasions, one classroom was used as both the screening venue, using a portable chair and light, as well as the sterilization department using our 2 autoclaves.  Two other classrooms were used as “double surgeries” using two portable chairs, light and suction units.  Used instruments were exchanged for sterile ones in the screening/sterilizing room, and the next patient was seen.  While all this was going on, the two chairs in the mobile clinic were being used for fillings and scaling and polishing.

Working in the classrooms

 A trickle of patients kept arriving throughout the day.  They were given numbered stickers and forms, consent for treatment was obtained and the work progressed.
The students were hard at work in the mobile clinic doing cleanings and fillings.  The demand for our services really impressed the UCT students – we had ten times more patients than they did.  But it was also a good opportunity for them to see something about dentistry, especially low-tech, but quality treatment, provided using portable equipment.
Visiting a place like Dunoon reminds one of the stark realities of grinding poverty in our country; something we do not engage with in our hospital setting.  But many people there are trying to make ends meet and there are many stalls selling all sorts of things.  Just around the corner was a traditional healer whose big advert outside promised a solution for all sorts of problems (except dental ones).
Working inside the mobile clinic                             Looking after a patient’s child
The brushing programme that we instituted last year is going well.  Each child's toothbrush is marked with their name and placed in their own cup.  The children got to view the video we provided them with "Dr Rabbit"(Colgate) and the teachers translate for them so they can understand.
The teachers have a Xhosa song that they sing while the kids brush.  Since they do not have adequate bathroom facilities, the kids take water in their cups and go outside to brush.  We provided them with toothbrushes for next years classes.
By 4 pm we called it a day – the UCT students had gone home at lunch-time.  Then came the big pack-up and clean up, and we returned to Tygerberg at 17:15.
During the day, we treated 107 patients.  We extracted 165 teeth, placed 17 fillings and provided 11 patients with a scaling and polishing.
The lecturers were Prof Attie Louw, Dr Tina Roberts, Dr Fathima Peerbhay and Dr Rob Barrie, assisted by Dr Costa Saridakis (our private practice voluntary helper).
A special word of thanks to my colleagues who accompanied us, our dental assistant Ms Felicity Vanqa and our three drivers; Malcolm Adams, Hansie Koopman and Jerome Leo.  Also, once again, to Ubunye ECD centre for making their premises available for us.  They made it all possible.
The Dunoon Team of 2012 – tired but still smiling
We may not be saving lives, but we are making a difference in people’s lives.  This patient (below) now has a much nicer smile! 
This was our fourth outreach activity for 2012.  Once again I was impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm of our students.  They really give of their best to their patients and treat them with such respect, and they get stuck in to the task in hand with enthusiasm.  So much so that some did not even get lunch!  The University of the Western Cape can really be proud of them.
Dr R B Barrie
Outreach Co-ordinator
28 August 2012
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