Kenyans with dental problems to suffer due to shortage of dentists

Friday October 21 2016

Dentists from from across the country keenly follow a presentation by Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi during the Kenya Dental Association's 34th Annual Scientific Conference and Exhibition at Pride Inn Paradise in Mombasa on October 19, 2016. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Dentists from from across the country keenly follow a presentation by Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi during the Kenya Dental Association's 34th Annual Scientific Conference and Exhibition at Pride Inn Paradise in Mombasa on October 19, 2016. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By WINNIE ATIENO
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The Kenya Dental Association has raised alarm over shortage of dentists in the country, saying there are about 1000 of them to serve Kenyans.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi and the national chairman of the Kenya Dental Association Andrew Wetende have said.

According to Dr Wetende the dentists serve in both public and private hospitals countrywide.

Dr Wetende said the deficiency is 1: 44,000 as opposed to the recommended World Health Organisation (WHO) which is 1: 7000.

The duo urged Kenyans to name quacks in the health sector saying they pose a danger to thousands of Kenyans.

Speaking during the launch of 34th Kenya Dental Association (KDA) Annual scientific conference and exhibition in Shanzu, Mombasa County the CS who is a dentist by profession said the shortage of dentists is affecting access to oral health in the country.

“The ratio is not enough in terms of numbers as per the World Health Organisation standards. The other issue is the number of specialists in the oral health. How many oral pathologists do we have in Kenya?” he asked.

Prof Kaimenyi said in disaster management, the easiest and best way to identify a person involved in airplane accidents is by using dental formula.

He urged medics in the country to familiarize themselves with medical professional ethics in order to provide better healthcare to Kenyans.

“As medics we should go back to school for continued professional developments. Why should they go to India as if we can’t learn or train? Professional ethics must be the pillar in providing health services,” he said.

However, Dr Wetende said most dental problems can be tackled even though there is a shortage of dentists.

“We are tackling the shortage by preaching prevention. The most prevalent conditions is tooth decay and gum diseases which are absolutely preventable by diet,” he said.