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Faculty of Dentistry Outreach to Hangberg, Hout Bay - 6th April 2019

Report: Faculty of Dentistry Outreach to Hangberg, Hout Bay - 6th April 2019


The Faculty of Dentistry held their first outreach of 2019 on Saturday 6th April in Hangberg, Hout Bay. A team of eight 5th year, four 4th year, one 3rd year  dental student, together with four lecturers, took part. Four students from the University of Oslo, who are visiting UWC, also joined us.


Our Mobile Clinic had broken down, yet again, so we were unable to use it. This meant we were limited to using only our five portable chairs. We were using the facilities of the Sentinel Primary School, and set up our equipment in two classrooms, and another classroom was transformed into our central sterilizing department.


After unpacking all the equipment and setting up the surgeries, we were ready for our first patients soon after 08:30.

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​                   Patients waiting for treatment


This visit was arranged at the request of SHAWCO from University of Cape Town, who run a Paediatric clinic in Hangberg. They have noticed that most of the children who attend their clinic also have untreated dental disease. Therefore, if we could be there at the same time, we could treat the dental disease and the UCT medical students would have an opportunity to see what dental students can do for their patients.

                  SHAWCO vehicles used by the UCT medical and other students to provide treatment

 Some sort of history was also made. One of our 4th year students, Tayla Goldberg has a twin brother, Josh, who is studying medicine at UCT and they were both there on the day!

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                    The Goldberg twins working together!



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                        At work in a classroom on the portable chairs


The students worked hard, as they always do. But we missed having the mobile clinic with its two dental chairs. Everyone, staff, students and helpers worked like a highly efficient team and kept on smiling.


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                         At work in the other classroom.


As we often see at these outreach clinics, many patients have pain and sepsis and request the extraction of hopelessly decayed teeth. There is definitely a need for a dental clinic in this community

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​                           Enjoying a brief lunch-break in the staff room and interacting with the Oslo students.

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​                           Our Central Sterilizing Department (in a classroom)


There were no tea breaks, just a staggered break for lunch, but things ran smoothly all day. And, after packing all the portable equipment, consumables and instruments into the panel van and taking a (now traditional) group photo, we left for Tygerberg at 17:00.


We saw 135 patients, extracted 167 teeth, filled 4 teeth, scaled and polished 3 patients and applied fluoride varnish to 20 patients. Unfortunately, we were not able to see all the patients that arrived on the day. We also had to refer 13 patients to our Faculty for treatment mainly children requiring treatment under Conscious Sedation or GA.


To SHAWCO, and especially Alana Williams - a fourth year medical student, a big thank you! A special word of thanks is due to the members of the Hangberg and Hout Bay community who assisted us with logistics. Also, a big thank you to my colleagues, Prof Neil Myburgh, Dr Tina Roberts and Dr Sonja Lewis, Ms Patty van Rheenen who was ably assisted by Ms Adelaide Maart in the sterilizing section, Ms Felicity Vanqa for organizing all the instruments and materials, our driver, Mr Malcolm Adams, and Ms Shana Graham, our departmental administrator, for all the organizing behind the scenes.


Thanks too, to Sentinel Primary School for allowing us to use their premises, and to the University of the Western Cape for financing these outreaches a truly Engaged University!

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​                           The Hangberg April 2019 Outreach Team


This was the first Outreach for a number of years which was run in conjunction with SHAWCO Paediatric Services, and it was good to make contact with colleagues in other health professions. I think our medical colleagues were surprized at the number of patients who required dental treatment!


I keep saying it, but it really is worth repeating, UWC can really be proud of their students. It is a pleasure to work with such a friendly, enthusiastic and hard-working team!




Prof R B Barrie Outreach Coordinator


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