21 March 2024

21 March 2024A dental hygiene revolution

The problem

Most people in Tanzania have limited access to dental care and rely on traditional healers or self-treatment. Rates of tooth decay are as high as 79% of 12-year-old. There are no accessible dental hygiene services in rural areas around Arusha and people are unaware of the importance of dental hygiene. The result, self-extraction, leads to chronic infection and in some cases death.

What we did

Ace Africa became the first non-profit to work with the Ministry of Health to improve dental health/hygiene services in rural facilities around Arusha. Local health staff were trained to provide better advice and services, and local volunteers were recruited to increase the awareness of dental hygiene in the community. The Ace Africa drama group developed a new public performance to share key messages in an accessible way.

Dental project

The impact

  • 10 local government nurses trained in dental health hygiene and practices
  • 5 government and community dental health teams established at remote and rural health facilities providing 3,280 people with dental hygiene services
  • 100 community volunteers became hygiene mentors and advocates
  • 11,500 women, children, youth and men learnt about dental hygiene through 24 drama events
  • 500% increase in community members seeking and accessing dental health hygiene services at local health facilities – from 5 monthly prior to the project to 30 after the implementation of project
  • 87% of those interviewed reported significantly better local dental hygiene and health services

HUGE thanks to George Freud and Sayaah for their incredible, continuing support of this project…..and for taking the time to visit Tanzania to meet the Ace Africa team, and the people whose lives they are changing.