2 Jul 2016

July 2016: NGO of the Month




Dentistes du Sud, Guinea

Dentistes du sud is a youth-led NGO in Guinea, founded in 2010 to advocate for oral health especially among communities in rural areas. In 2010, dental students at the University of Conakry founded Dentistes du sud to promote oral health, by launching campaigns in schools and universities in Guinea. Dentistes du sud wanted to raise awareness among the youth on the importance of good oral hygiene and the negative effects of smoking and drinking alcohol on oral health.

Karim Keita the founder of Dentistes du sud
The vision, everybody has a right to the right information on how to prevent oral diseases and should have access to dental professional care, that Dentistes du sud was founded on continues to inspire its work in the community today. Dentistes du sud seeks to uphold this by educating, informing and helping people especially in the rural areas to access dental care.

Dentistes du sud has launched many campaigns for education in rural Guinea in order to improve the oral health of communities. The main targets are children and women as they are not always able to financially cater for dental care such as visiting a dentist or changing toothbrushes. Dentistes du sud is also the first and the only provider of free dental care in Guinea; its first free dental care camp was organized in 2012 and three others camps have been organized since then. There is a non-profit dental clinic established by Dentistes du sud in Conakry where low income people receive pain relief and other basic dental treatments. Depending on the donations the organization receives, many orphanages and schools benefit every year in terms of donation of tooth brushes, tooth pastes, and other kits.
 
Currently Dentistes du sud is about to launch a project which will offer free check up, free medicine to 500 children in the low income areas of Conakry in partnership with a local medical organization called Santé pour la vie.

For the last couple of years Dentistes du sud has managed to effectively promote oral health in the community. Here are examples of projects and highlights that have been successfully executed:
·        2010-Radio Broadcasting Campaign at Cherie FM Radio in Conakry to raise awareness for better oral hygiene
·        2011-Teaching good teeth cleaning techniques to patients in the Dental Clinic of Conakry
·        2012-First dental camp in Sangaredi, 300km from Conakry for 10 days, providing free dental extractions among rural communities
·        2013-Opening of the first non-profit dental clinic in Conakry as well as holding the 2nd dental camp in Gaoual, 450km from Conakry for one month, offering free dental care
·        2015-3rd free dental camp in Koundara, 600km from Conakry for one month and donation of tooth brushes and tooth paste to the orphanage in Hamdallaye, Conakry
·        2016-In partnership with African Aid International offered toothbrushes to school children in Yimbaya

The main challenges that Dentistes du sud faces is team building for the missions in rural areas, transportation, raising funds and cooperation and support of local authorities. To find out more about the work done to promote oral health in Guinea by Dentistes du sud and how you can support them and get involved in their work you can contact Karim Keita the founder or visit their Facebook page.