ABOUT ORAL HEALTH CARE UGANDA
Our activities started informally in 2009 when the Executive director, Reuben Kizito who had suffered from tooth decay and as a result, extractions done since childhood interacted with Dr Molly in a casual conversation which later turned into a medical consultation appointment.
At this point all the lower permanent Molars had been removed and work had also started to remove the upper molars; two had already been removed; awaiting to start on the rest. While caring out the consultation, Reuben realized that he wouldn't have lost a single tooth. Dr Molly made it clear that tooth decay and most of the oral diseases were largely preventable.
All the remaining teeth were preserved and lessons of looking after the mouth were taught and a behavior of dental checkups was emphasized and adopted. Todate Reuben still has the remaining teeth and has not done an extraction since 2009. By then Dr Molly was a Public Health Dental Officer.
From the Consultation room they developed a working relationship and Dr. Molly continued to mentor Reuben and after gaining enough information and knowledge we started appearing on radio talk shows talking about oral health care and the first radio talk show took place in 2010 Wednesday, at Suubi FM in a programme Omuntu nobulamu. (Human beings and their health)
There was no formal organization by then but programmes continued to schools and communities with the first school outreach taking place at ST Noah girls school while the first community outreach took place at St Andrews church where our Board chairman ministers. At this time we involved politicians, Head teachers and other local leaders and those interested would call us to their communities and schools
In 2011 together formed Myn dental limited which was registered as a company limited by guarantee and where we formed informal partnerships with organizations and individuals with whom we shared the same vision. In this we saw ourselves getting models and training material which we used in promotion of oral health care mainly in schools and communities from colgate. Because of the resources, our promotions were based on the networks we had and the referral system. One head teacher would refer us to another head teacher. At this time we had a written concept and this concept won Reuben a partial scholarship to undertake a Masters of business administration in social entrepreneurship with the catholic university of Milan where he worked on Oral health care as his project, furthered knowledge in oral health education and also became an oral health educator. Molly enrolled for Bachelor of dental surgery in the same year.
In 2013 Reuben returned home and continued with Oral health education but outreaches were limited because he lacked a medical team to carry out the medical procedures. Despite that, the passion, the need and the demand for oral health services continued to grow and working with like-minded people Oral health care Uganda was formed and also continued to promote oral health care. It attained a legal status in may 2015 as a Not for profit organization operating in Uganda. Because dentists are scare and dental clinics are not accessible, Oral health care opened up its first clinic in Katwe in February 2016 to act as a referral point for clients who would not afford dental services due to the cost. The clinic provides low cost dental services to members in and around the slum communities of katwe in makindye division and also acts as a base for coordination in providing free school and community outreaches.
To date the team has grown to 6 staff including four dentists and two non-medical support staff. We also have three volunteers.