The Project

WHAT IS DAKTARI FOR MAASAI?

The Plan

The project is based on the idea of providing mobile, dental aid for people in the peripheral regions of Tanzania, who live there virtually without receiving any dental care – one dentist for every 100,000 patients. This means that tens of thousands of patients in urgent need of treatment never visit a dentist even once in their life and have to live with seriously diseased teeth, pain and the associated consequences for their general state of health. That is why “Daktari for Maasai” regularly visits the most remote areas of Tanzania, in order to provide these people in particular with dental care.

The Successes

The tiny clinic had neither running water, nor electricity and very little medical equipment at the beginning of the project. Together with Dr. Axel Roschker and various partners, Martin Jörgens, Profesor Invitado of the University of Seville, and his team have built up a highly effective, mobile dental clinic and the necessary infrastructure in recent years. Patients can be now treated on mobile chairs with modern equipment. More than 2000 patients have been provided with dental care in this way, some of whom had never been to the dentist before.

The Team

Inform

Dr. med. dent. Caroline Kentsch

Aesthetic and Functional Dentistry, CMD Treatment, (Aesthetic Periodontics)

Dr. med. dent. Caroline Kentsch

Aesthetic and Functional Dentistry, CMD Treatment, (Aesthetic Periodontics)

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Dr. med. dent. Martin Jörgens

Implantology, Aesthetic Dentistry, Laser Dentistry

Dr. med. dent. Martin Jörgens

Implantology, Aesthetic Dentistry, Laser Dentistry

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Additional Support

• Dr. Axel Roschker, an oral surgeon from Cologne • Dr. med. Afschin Fatemi from Dusseldorf Kaiserswerth, an aesthetic surgeon and dermatologist • Dr. med. Martin Bongartz, a surgeon from the Josef Hospital in Moers • oral surgeons Dr. Roberto Garrido Serrano and Dr. Francisco Azcarate Velazquez from the University of Seville, Spain •

Experience Report

There are only 250 Tanzanian dentists for Tanzania’s 52 million inhabitants. Entire regions of the country thus have to make do without any dental care. Patient usually have to go on long treks through strenuous journeys to find a dentist in a distant city. As the general standards of dental practices are unfortunately still very poorly developed, there is widespread fear of receiving dental treatment. And other necessities are usually so pressing in many regions that dental treatment must be postponed for economic reasons.

It took us almost a year before our Dental Specialists practice succeeded in launching the “Daktari for Maasai” project in 2011. Equipped with perfect mobile equipment, great enthusiasm and adventurous spirits, we set off for the following destinations: Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti.

In 2011, I set off with my partner from Dental Specialists, Dr. med. Caroline Kentsch, on the first trip to Tanzania with Condor from Frankfurt. We first drove to Lake Manyara and worked there for two days. After crossing the Serengeti with some difficulty, we finally reached Ololosokwan.

We were engaged on a daily basis both at the Lodge Kleins Camp and at the clinic in Ololosokwan. We initially also needed support at the clinic, which had neither electricity nor running water at the time. A generator was delivered to us that was more or less working, and we adapted our ways of working to the new Maasai environment. We quickly learnt to cope with the heat, tsetse flies, mosquitoes and many other insects. As we did not yet have any treatment chairs we had to treat the patients all day standing up. Our patients were treated either sitting on an office chair or lying on an exam table. On the next trip, our team grew. Dr. Axel Roschker from Cologne, specialised implantologist and oral surgeon, actively assisted me along with two employees from our Dental Specialists clinic in Dusseldorf.

We equipped the locations we were working at with medical equipment with the help of the German medical aid organisation Medeor. Since then, the Lake Manyara and Ololosokwan clinics have been supplied with surgical suction pumps and instruments. We even installed two more mobile dental chairs plus surgical lights there. This staffing allowed us to provide over 650 Maasai with dental care in 14 days. The local population gradually warmed up to the project. The primary and secondary school classes in Ololosokwan now regularly visit our highly specialised dental clinic.

A good 650 patients were also treated in another project stay in January 2013.

We would like take this opportunity to thank Condor ConTribute for consistently helping us with the transport of medical and dental supplies. A dental adventure project of this kind would hardly be possible without such support. And by doing so, Condor ConTribute also directly supports the needy people in Tanzania. The gratitude of the Tanzanian people who we treated free of charge is indescribable and not comparable to anything else in the medical field.

Many thanks also from Daktaris for Maasai.

Bon voyage – Na Safari Nzur

Impressions from Tanzania