KARONGI- Students and lecturers of Kigali Health Institute (KHI) have embarked on a one-month community outreach program in Bugesera District, in a campaign aimed at bringing medical services closer to the public.
During the exercise, a team from the department of dentistry of the institute will screen patients, and treat serious cases besides offering community health education.
Reports have established that oral diseases are mostly common in rural areas which are therefore in dire need of oral health therapists.
Dr. Ibra Muhumuza, the head of the Dentistry Department, said that the purpose of the community outreach is to help the population get better medical services and equip students with basic community healthcare skills.
“The next step is to plan how we can mobilise resources for screening and treating oral and dental health illnesses in the rural communities where the problem is most common,” Muhumuza said.
He emphasised that carrying out regular health education and assessment is equally important.
One of the participating students, Anne Marie Uwitonze, noted that it is necessary for nurses to ensure timely diagnosis of oral diseases.
Some common oral infections include tooth decay, tumours, cysts, misalignments (orthodontics), gum disease, bad breath (halitosis), abscesses, and thrush (oral candidiasis), which according to experts, are caused by lack of oral hygiene.
Etienne Bizimana, a resident in the area who turned up for screening at Bugesera Health Centre together with his child, commended KHI for the outreach program.
He requested for such regular exercises, noting that Nyamata Hospital is the only facility with a dentistry department in the whole district. Currently, oral health services are only accessed at district referral hospitals.