East Africa: Uganda, Rwanda & Burundi


Dental Hygienists and Dentists Needed for Expeditions

It takes 8 years to train a dentist, but just 3 years to train a Public Health Dental Officer to give anesthetic, extract teeth, and give antibiotics. We need a few dentists, hygienists and assistants every year, to train these PHDOs in preventive and restorative dental procedures. With a ratio of dentists to population of 1 to 800,000, these PHDOs are essential in Uganda and Rwanda.  Service doesn’t get more potent than this; teach them and they continue working after we leave!

Conditions are excellent. English is the official language. You always feel safe…. meet at the airport, stay at clean and secure hotels or Guest Houses, teach at the dental school equipped recently by Rotary.

I am not sure that the Academy is aware of the impact that they and adoptanafricanclinic.org  are having in East Africa.  We have provided 75 used Adec dental chairs and 20 new Belmont chairs to dental clinics within hospitals and dentals schools in Uganda and Rwanda and trained Dentists, Therapists and Technicians to install, maintain, and repair the equipment we have provided.DSCN0407

We have taught Perio courses (instruments donated to each clinic by the Academy) and 14 hygienists from N America have taught and mentored the dental therapists at their own clinics.  Most of the clinicians are LDS but not necessarily members of the Academy.

We have taught courses in ART (Atraumatic Restorative Technique), posterior Amalgam restoration, Anterior Composite restoration and mentored (for at least one week) the Therapists in their own clinics by 10 dentists (most LDS).

I have followed up on the mentoring with additional 3 day mentoring sessions at each clinic after the others have returned to America.  It is our mission to bring each of our 19 clinics from 98% extraction services to 50% preventive, Outreach and restorative services over the next few years.

1We are always in need of Academy mentors to visit Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi at their convenience, to continue the mentoring process!

Dr Cahoon was part of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in May 2011 and was one of three of the Harvard group which organized the opening of the first Dental School in Rwanda to train dentists which as a result of the 4 chairs donated in 2012 and the 12 chairs in 2013, opened in Aug 2013 to train the first 15 Rwandan dentists to graduate with a BDS degree in June 2018.  KHI had only 3 dental chairs when we began to work with them in 2009.

Thirty ADEC chairs were sent from U of A in June 3013 headed for Uganda and their 13 Regional Hospitals with the transportation funded by LDS Humanitarian Services.  Adec trained the dental and technical staff to install, maintain and repair the equipment at the dental school and the Regional Referral Hospitals.10c

I believe that this project is the most comprehensive program to develop dentistry within an African country.  The object of the program is not to extract or restore hundreds of teeth but to train and mentor many local clinicians to ensure the development of a healthy preventive and restorative dental program for these countries!  We have also treated hundreds of LDS missionaries at our clinic at Makerere University in Kampala since our program of mentoring Ugandan senior dental students in 2008.  Dr. Phil Openshaw of Modesto, California has taken over our work at Makerere and has treated hundreds of LDS Missionaries and others needing his dental services using our equipment at the Dental School.

15aWe need several North American dentists, assistants and hygienists to come to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to train and mentor clinical practitioners at clinics in each of these countries.  Dr Cahoon travels to East Africa every October and January for a total of 10 weeks each year.  He welcomes YOU to be a part of this great project at any time that it meets your schedule.

Please contact:

DR. DREW CAHOON at (406) 260-6518 or dgcahoon@gmail.com

Adopt An African Clinic to support, train, or mentor East African Clinics

Participants will enjoy a wonderful church and professional experience, a 3-day safari, and work with amazing African dental professionals and their patients.

If you are interested, please contact Dr. Cahoon soon!