The Faculty of
Dentistry embarked on an outreach programme to Klipheuwel on Saturday 13th
The team of Dental
students, seven 5th years, four 4th years and two 3rd
years arrived at the Klippies Kids Pre-primary school at 08:30. The outreach was planned in conjunction with
the Durbanville branch of Rotary International who have been doing sterling
work in the Klipheuwel community for some years, and some of the Rotary members
were there waiting for us.
Fig. 1. The queue outside the gates Fig.
2. The classroom surgery
We used our
Mobile Clinic with its 2 chairs as well as 5 portable dental chairs, lights and
suction units set up in two of the classrooms at the school. After a briefing, work began on the group of
about 70 patients who were already there.
As has become
our routine, we used one of the classrooms to examine and anaesthetize each
patient, who was then referred to either the mobile clinic for scaling and
polishing or for fillings. If
extractions were required, the patients were referred to the classroom next
door where the portable chairs had been set up.
Rotary acted as administrators and filled in the patients’ details on the
treatment forms and obtained signed consent.
For this they were amply qualified, one was a retired head of the Western
Cape Regional office of the Department of Health and another a former Member of
all day in an attempt to treat as many patients as possible. Students rotated among the chairs to get some
variation of tasks. Tea breaks were fitted
in between patients and lunch was also taken quickly on a rotation basis so
that the flow of treatment was minimally affected.
refreshments and the delicious lunch were provided by the Rotary club and was
treatment continued, as has become tradition at Klipheuwel, the children were
taken on rides in the open field next door in a Landrover (much excitement) and
other children were kept amused with creative activities such as colouring-in
Fig. 3. Working hard Fig.
4. Keeping kids occupied
We tried to
treat all ages, but treating the pre-schoolers always presents a
challenge. We managed very well, but a couple
of them would not co-operate and were referred to the Faculty for treatment
5. Examining young patient Fig.
6. Treatment continues
As usual, the
students worked hard throughout the day and we had to force some of them to
take a break! After seeing all of the
patients, including some who arrived later, the big clean-up and pack-up
commenced (all the portable equipment, instruments and consumables have to be
loaded into the mobile clinic).
clinic takes about one hour to load, and after a few photographs, we left and
the students were back at Tygerberg before 17:00.
7. Hard at work Fig.
8. Packing up
We saw 111 patients, extracted 187 teeth,
filled 2 teeth and scaled and polished 5 patients.
Fig. 9. The Klipheuwel Team 2013
This outreach was
a very good learning opportunity for the students and it provided a much needed
service to this community.
Thanks is due to
the Faculty of Dentistry for funding the weekend, and to the supervisors, Prof
Louw and Dr Simpson, and also Dr Costa
Saridakis, a private practitioner from Cape Town who regularly joins our
outreach activities. Our drivers Mr
Adams and Mr Leo got us, and the equipment, there and back safely – thank you.
Thanks also to Ms
Moos, Principal of Klein Klippies Pre-primary for allowing us to disrupt her
school and for being there all day. She
is a star!
Thanks too to
Durbanville Rotary club for all their support, assistance on the day and
provision of meals and refreshments for the team. It is really appreciated.
Finally, and most
importantly, a big thank you to the students for volunteering to spend a Saturday
treating patients. Their enthusiasm,
cheerfulness, commitment to their patients and the professional service that
they provided was exemplary. They are a
credit to their profession and UWC.
Dr Rob Barrie
Dentistry Outreach Coordinator
15 April 2013