The population in Western Kenya has little or no access to dental care. Due to increasing consumption of sweets and soft drinks, the levels of tooth decay and poor oral health are rising, especially in children. This has tremendous impacts on their quality of life. The Kenya National Oral Health Report 2015 states that 18.9% of the surveyed students indicated that they had missed school in the preceding year because of their teeth, 31% had a problem biting hard food and 27.8% avoided smiling. 53.8% of the children had experienced toothache and discomfort in the previous year. 23.9% had caries and bleeding from the gums occurred in about three out of four children (75.7%). This shows the urgent need for early intervention and education on oral health and dental hygiene.
The project will address these issues by providing knowledge on nutrition, teaching dental hygiene and providing treatment to children in schools in rural areas in Western Kenya. All children in the respective schools will receive a toothbrush and tooth paste and free treatment if necessary. The long-term goal is to improve oral hygiene and reduce caries and periodontitis in children and raise awareness for the importance of dental care among local communities at large.