A group of local dental therapists are spearheading a community outreach programme to offer free dental services to disadvantaged communities in Matabeleland.
Tooth extraction charges in public hospitals range from ZW$50 TO ZW$100 whereas the private sector charges between ZWL$200 and ZWL$300 for the same procedure.
Speaking during an outreach program at Mahlothova Secondary School in Umguza district on Saturday, Inspire Women and Children Trust Chairman Joel Ndebele said they have embarked on these outreach programs to assist people who cannot afford medical care.
“We are doing this for the community because we noticed that communities cannot afford to pay for their dental services in hospitals,” said Ndebele.
He added that doctors from both the public and private sector came through to offer their services free of charge.
“We are being helped by dentists from both private and public hospitals to see this program through and we are doing community service,” said Ndebele.
One of the therapists Esther Phiri from African Communities Health Trust said people deserve proper health services despite the ongoing doctor`s strike in the country.
“I am offering free dental services today as part of giving back to the community. I was invited to Pelandaba last month and I also conducted the same community service, it is through passion and a good heart for one to do a professional job during outreach programs,” said Phiri.
Miss Addah Moyo a beneficiary, said she managed to have two of her teeth extracted.
“I have been having this sore tooth for the past 22 years now and I have not been able to afford dental services. I am very glad and happy for a good job that this project has done for us,” she said.
The outreach programme was held in Pelandaba in October and 67 people managed to get dental services administered to them for free and in Umguza 88 people were assisted.
Inspire women and children Trust programmes manager Gift Sanyamahwe said they have more projects targeted at Umguza district.
“We have more income-generating projects that we will be bringing here next year mainly for women and youths such as the goat project,” said Sanyamahwe.
Sanyamahwe added that they are mostly targeting women and youths because they are influential in the community.
“The moment you empower a woman it goes a long way in improving communities and that makes it better for everyone so we have put our concentration towards them,” he said.