Working under their umbrella body, dental practitioners conducted a study in 2014 in which they found that dental problems affected an overwhelming majority of Ugandans.
More depressing perhaps, the study found that as many as 65 percent of all school-going children in government-owned schools in Kampala had dental problems.
To respond to the high but largely hidden incidents of dental health among children, UDOTA designed a programme aimed to sensitize children in Kampala schools on how to maintain good oral health, and perhaps pass on the information to their parents back home.
Edward Mukasa (Pictured), the President of UDOTA told The Sunrise that his association, in collaboration with Kampala Capital City Authority, Makerere University School of Public Health, Colgate and Ajou University School of Medicine and Tropical Diseases in South Korea organised a sensitization training for teachers from each primary school in Kampala on how to maintain good oral health.
Mukasa said the focus on children was informed by the fact that children have more years ahead of them, but also that they still can change their lifestyle as well as influence the lifestyles of their parents.
“We got at least one teacher from each school in Kampala and taught them about oral health and how to maintain it. We tasked each teacher to start dental clubs in their respective schools,”
While on a tour of some of the schools last week, Mukasa expressed satisfaction that knowledge about dental health in schools has greatly increased in Kampala.
“What we have seen in our supervision visits, we are impressed that what we taught has been transferred to the pupils,” said Mukasa.
Concerned about the high levels of poor oral health in its schools, KCCA has pledged to work with UDOTA to improve dental health in all schools in Kampala. Mukasa says KCCA will carry out free screening and treatment of dental problems in schools to complement their existing out-reach programmes.
Thanks perhaps to successes recorded around Kampala in improving oral-health, UDOTA says they have received authorisation from the Ministries of Education and Health to take the campaign to other parts of the country.