Facility also offers examinations and hygiene training for school children
The mother-and-child dental clinic in Herat in western Afghanistan, run by the international Christian relief organization Shelter Now, has reopened in a new building. The clinic provides dental examinations, treatment and oral hygiene instruction to pregnant women, mothers and children. In addition, there is a children’s program for the surrounding schools – comparable to the work of school dentists.
Following the completion of extensive renovations, Herat city and provincial officials, Shelter Now staff and patients celebrated the facility’s relaunch. The mother-child dental clinic, which has been active for several years, is embedded in a hospital in one of Herat’s poorer neighborhoods, where many internally displaced persons live. For poor people, treatment there is for free.
Through the children’s program, the teeth of 500 girls and 500 boys will be examined this year, announced German Shelter Now director Udo Stolte. If necessary, the children are then given a referral for free dental treatment at the Mother and Child Dental Clinic. They also receive a dental hygiene kit and training on how to use it.
50 teachers will also receive training and further education on dental health. They are to conduct health training sessions for 1,500 students at a time. The sustainability of the project goes far beyond dental health, emphasizes Udo Stolte: “Sick or missing teeth lead to poor nutrition and affect general health.”
As another dental health project, Stolte says a rural dental clinic will start soon in the large village of Shekiban, west of Herat. After three years of planning, construction and equipping, the first treatments could begin there in a few days.
Shelter Now has been active with dental health projects in Afghanistan since 2008. A first clinic in Herat Provincial Hospital was handed over to the regional government in 2014. A second facility has also been focusing on the practical training of dentists since 2016 in cooperation with Herat University.
Brunswick, September 15, 2023