As a part of its constant endeavor to promote Oral Healthcare, Oman Dental College (ODC) a group of its faculty, staff, alumni and students conducted a charitable Dental health camp in Zanzibar. Supported by the Zanzibar Outreach Programme the two week Dental Camp happened at the Bwejuu Charity School (and orphanage) in Zanzibar. The school has 477 children and the ODC team treated over a hundred children and teachers at the school, and over 200 patients were screened in Zanzibar.
Dr Nutayla Al Harthy Vice Dean Clinical Affairs at ODC said “The idea of planning such a camp had crossed my mind since I was a dental student in Glasgow, because it had never been done in that location before, moreover there is the strong historical link between Oman and Zanzibar. In addition, my parents were born in Zanzibar, and I wanted to give back to the community they grew up in. I initially visited the Bwejuu Charity School in 2014 and that is when our planning started.” The planning and organization of this initiative was mainly by Dr Mohamed Al Ismaili and Dr Nutayla Al Harthy, but without the support of other members of the ODC team this trip would not have been possible.
Dr Mohamed Al Ismaily emphasized the need to express thanks to the Ministry of Higher Education in Oman for their support together with the Oman Consulate in Zanzibar for facilitating the event. He said “ we also need to thank the Zanzibar Ministry of Health and especially the Minister of Health in Zanzibar who personally facilitated the temporary licensing procedure there and was a great boost to our cause when he and other officials personally visited our camp.”
The ODC team’s aim in providing dental care and promotion of Oral Health was very successful and the same high standards of dental care provided at ODC were maintained during this camp. This first Dental Camp has helped the team obtain a baseline overview of what the dental health in the children of Zanzibar is like, which will allow them to return in the near future and provide more focused dental care designed to the specific needs of the local community.
A student from BDS III commented “I believe the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. My trip to Zanzibar was amazing, it was a wonderful experience. Sometimes I feel that I am going to fly from happiness. Actually, I spent the most beautiful moments in my life there. Completely and perfectly, incandescently happy. I am so grateful to everyone to participate in this spectacular trip”. Taif Al Shirawi an ODC Alumnus added “The experience was such an uplifting one, yet so humbling. It made me recognise the wings that we own and the roots that we stand on”
This trip was made possible through the generous help of our sponsors, Petrogas E&P, Oman Air, Unilever, Muscat Eye Laser Center, Alfarsi Medical Supplies, Modern Information Systems LLC, Fahmy Furniture, Highfield International, Majan Medical and Scientific Supplies LLC, and several other anonymous individuals.