Bright smiles for Rosh Pinah

For Vedanta Zinc International, care is one of its most entrenched values in its business philosophy.

30 November 2018 | Business

Skorpion Zinc continues to partner with the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Dentists Without Limits Foundation (DWLF), a German based NGO that does voluntary dental work in rural communities.

The programme is now in its sixth year of implementation in Rosh Pinah and has been a huge success.

Rosh Pinah is approximately 300km from the nearest state hospital in Lüderitz where free dental care can be accessed, and about 400km from Keetmanshoop.

The community looks forward to the dental camp every year. It is an opportunity for them to have their problematic teeth extracted or cleaned and cavities filled, and for both young and old to be educated on dental hygiene.

A smile is priceless. It is a well-known fact that healthy teeth and overall oral hygiene can help boost one’s confidence in public; thus maintaining good oral health should be a health priority.

Bad oral health has affected, in some cases, people’s ability to socialise and even apply for jobs.

The free dental check-ups include tooth extraction, restorative fillings, cleaning of teeth, dental hygiene education, dietary counselling and free dental kits donated by Colgate as a new partner to the dental programme.

Zinc is a trace element of valuable importance in toothpaste.

Research has shown that zinc is very beneficial in dental care. It is proven to be effective against common prevalent oral health problems such as gingivitis, periodontitis and malodour. It is being used in various oral healthcare products.

The dental programme targets residents of Tutungeni, an informal settlement in Rosh Pinah, and the nearby farming community. This is done over a period of two weeks.

This initiative is aimed at supporting government’s dental programme efforts and making sure that the majority of the Rosh Pinah community and the surrounding remote areas are covered. DWLF has this year availed four dentists who joined hands with the health ministry team to do the outreach work. In total there’s a team of nine dentists and dental assistants.

The dental programme includes school visits around Rosh Pinah for health education, screening of learners for oral diseases, dental check-ups, dental treatment and referrals of patients to ministry dental clinics if the treatment could not be provided during the dental camp.

Patients are registered and then undergo a full dental examination. In a case where a patient has come with a complaint, a treatment plan is made and explained to the patient, after which treatment is rendered to the patient.

To date, the dental programme has treated more than 2 000 patients and reached out to more than 5 000 residents and annually to more than 1 500 school children. Over the years the dental camps have improved the oral health status of patients.

“As part of our mandate, Skorpion Zinc will continue to support the local community members and the surrounding areas. We are determined and adamant to bring and initiates health programmes that are supporting a healthy living for our community members,” said Irvinne Simataa, the general manager of Skorpion Zinc.

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