Monday, July 22, 2024

UTG dental students conduct oral health outreach in Banjul

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By Dawda Baldeh

Dental students from the University of The Gambia (UTG) marked World Oral Health Day with an outreach event in Banjul, providing free dental education and treatment to many individuals.

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Celebrated annually on March 20, the day is dedicated to increasing oral health awareness.

The celebration was postponed due to several factors, as reported by the students.

In Banjul, students and dentists came together to promote the significance of dental hygiene and educate the public on preventing dental issues.

Speaking to The Fatu Network at the event in Banjul, Dr. Njowene Grey-Johnson a dentist at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, said most people don’t know the importance of taking good care of their mouths.

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“This is why the UTG dental students deem it necessary to conduct this activity.

“The mouth is not an isolated structure, and it needs proper care.

If you have a sickness in your mouth, it can affect the rest of your body and the quality of your life,” she explained.

The dentist further urged people to care for their mouths to avoid infection.

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She added that the teeth play a vital role in human life.

“If you lose your teeth, you will have difficulty speaking, chewing, and eating,” Dr. Grey added.

Dr. Akindayo Akinyamoju, a senior lecturer and consultant at the University of The Gambia, praised the UTG dental students for their exceptional initiative.

He emphasized the significance of establishing a dental school in Gambia, noting that such an institution did not exist until recently.

“Most of our practising dentists were experts from other countries but now we have Gambian practising dentists.

“We have a lot of oral diseases in the Gambia that are preventable, and people are dying unnecessarily.

“If you go to the hospitals, you will see a lot of people dying unexpectedly because of dental diseases,” he said.

The seasoned dentist told The Fatu Network that they are currently training dental students who will soon graduate as the country’s first trained dentist.

“This will help us to stem the morality on dental diseases,” he said.

Ismail Jara Owens, a resident of Banjul who benefited from the oral health outreach expressed his gratitude to the UTG dental students and lecturers for the opportunity.

He said: “This is commendable, and I am very happy to benefit from the free treatment. Teeth are very sensitive in our lives.

“They have taught me things I never knew and from now on I will implement what they taught me,” he narrated.

Ma Bintou Secka, another beneficiary, also explained how she felt after getting the treatment.

“I felt relief in my mouth after they screened and treated my teeth. This is very good.

“Before I used any type of toothpaste but now, I know what type to use for my teeth,” she said.

She also thanked the UTG dental students for what she described as life-changing treatment.

Various individuals commended the UTG dental students for the opportunity which they say will help to improve the quality of health practices, especially oral health.

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