Over 800 residents of Hohoe and its surrounding communities like Tsito and Abutia in the Volta Region have benefited from a four-day free dental screening exercise.
The outreach programme was supported by Jonmoore International Limited, a transport and logistics company in Ghana, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to mark its 20th-anniversary celebrations.
The beneficiaries included school children from Edgemont Orphanage Home at Ve-Koloenu.
The Director in-charge of International Programmes of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) at Ho, Professor Francis Zotor, said the exercise was also a collaborative effort between the School of Public Health of UHAS, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) as well as other stakeholders of Health at Hohoe and its sister communities.
A ten-member dental team was made up of three foreign dentists and two administrators and supporting staff from the United Kingdom (UK) as well as five nursing and other staff from Hohoe Government Hospital and the Municipal Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service.
Corporate Manager of Jonmoore International, Miss Amma Abrokwah stated that health and wellbeing was one of the company's CSR objectives. The company is committed to supporting projects within its CSR scope of operations and budget in ensuring improved healthcare and the well-being of deprived rural folks across the country.
The dental screening exercise, which was the first of its kind in the area, saw the distribution of recommended samples of toothpaste to all beneficiaries, checking of Blood Pressure (BP) levels of the clients as well as offering some treatment and dental advice to the beneficiary clients.
The exercise raised awareness and education on dental health amongst residents and also provided treatment and solutions to many challenges confronting the beneficiaries.
Addressing the clients during the exercise, a dental surgeon of the team, Dr Nana George Brown noted that smoking and alcohol abuse have negative effects on one’s oral health including the destruction of the teeth.
He stressed the need for Ghanaians and the general public at large to cultivate the habit of regularly visiting the dentist in order to address their dental health problems.
According to him, most dental problems can be solved if only they are identified and resolved early enough.
Dr Malcom Farr gave the assurance that the exercise would be sustained and extended to other areas of the region in the coming years so as to bring dental care to the doorsteps of the people of the region and Ghanaians as a whole.
Dr Chris Vondee stressed the urgent need for government and organizations to invest in training dentists in the country to provide quality dental care to the people.
The dental team were excited about the great enthusiasm shown by the residents towards the exercise and stressed the need for all stakeholders of health in the region to come together to help improve dental healthcare in the region.
The Dentist in-charge of the Municipal Hospital, Dr Ernest Nyarko described the delivery of quality dental care in the municipality in particular and the region as a whole as very challenging due to the fact that dentists are in short supply.
According to him, it is also expensive to train a dentist as compared to a medical practitioner, adding that this has compounded the problem amidst the high cost of dentistry equipment and tools for the provision of quality dental care to patients.
He was hopeful that government would commit more resources on dental care and training of more personnel in order to take care of the increasing cases of dental problems across the country.
The locals commended the dental team for their support.