UNAM STUDENTS LEAD THE CHARGE IN ORAL HEALTH EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH

In the spirit of fostering a healthier community, the University of Namibia’s School of Dentistry, along with the Dental Students Association of Namibia, marked World Oral Health Day through an impactful community outreach initiative. This year’s theme, “Happy Mouth, Happy Body,” resonated across the activities held recently, emphasising the deep connection between oral health and overall well-being.

A commendable contingent of 121 volunteers, comprising lecturers and students from various disciplines within the Faculty of Health Sciences & Veterinary Medicine, embarked on a mission to enlighten young minds about the importance of oral hygiene. Their outreach spanned across 3 vital institutions: Five Rand Primary School in Okahandja, Lebensschule School, a school for kids with disabilities in Rehoboth, and Orange Babies Orphanage in Windhoek, where they engaged with children, imparting knowledge and distributing essential dental care supplies.

Dr. John Rutabanzibwa, Associate Dean of the School of Dentistry, expressed pride in the initiative, noting, “Our students and faculty members are not just educating these children; they are planting seeds of awareness that will grow into a lifetime of better health choices. It’s a profound demonstration of how knowledge can be the most effective tool in promoting health.”

The day’s activities were both educational and interactive. Senior dentistry students took the lead in demonstrating proper brushing techniques, while their counterparts from medical and psychology disciplines expanded the conversation to broader aspects of health and wellness.

Ms Neza Cilunda, the SRC for Community Development and Gender Affairs, reflected on the day’s significance, “Through this outreach, we aim not only to educate but also to ignite a lifelong commitment to health among these young individuals. It’s about creating a ripple effect that goes beyond just a day’s event.”

She also mentioned that one of the most fun activities on the day was “the screening of children for any oral health defects.” The screening was done by senior dentistry students under the supervision of their lecturers.

Ms Vivica Negumbo, a psychology student, shared her insights on the psychological aspect of the outreach, “Educating children on the importance of regular health checkups and the concept of prevention is very important. It’s about building a mindset that values and prioritises health from a young age.”

The event, which also saw the distribution of 750 toothbrushes and toothpaste units, underscored the University’s dedication to community service and health education. As the only medical campus in the nation, UNAM’s proactive approach in commemorating such global health days is a testament to its commitment to not just academic excellence but also to societal well-being.

Simon Namesho

2024-05-20T14:18:26+00:00 April 24th, 2024|NEWS|