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In Need of Assistance | Ghana Dental School Needs Support

Wed, 03 Sep, 2008

The University of Ghana Dental School (UGDS) is in dire need of educational infrastructure to train more dental surgeons for the country. 

Ten years after its inception, the UGDS can only train about 20 dental surgeons annually and still depends on the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS) for its basic science training.

The UGDS has, therefore, appealed to the government to provide the school with the necessary equipment to enable it to train more dental surgeons to meet the increasing demand for dental surgeons in the country. 

Speaking at the launch of the 10th anniversary of the school, the Provost of the UGDS, Dr Grace Parkins, said the celebration was being on the anniversary of the first locally trained dental surgeons of the country. 

Under the UGMS, the UGDS was built in 1992 at Korle-Bu with funding from the government while equipment was obtained from overseas. 

The pioneer class of five students graduated in 1997 after completing their basic sciences and clinical training in 1992 and 1993 respectively. 

Dr Parkins observed that the UGDS could only admit between 10 and 20 students annually whereas in the past, most students were sent outside the country to pursue clinical dentistry because they had few teaching staff and inadequate infrastructure in Ghana. 

She said the country had only trained 81 local dental surgeons since its inception. 

The Chief Executive of the KAMA Group Ghana Limited, Dr Michael Agyekum Addo, said although dental problems are regarded as among life's most unpleasant experiences; they are not considered as lethal by Ghanaians. 

As a result, he said, the development of milk teeth in children, their loss replacement and subsequent loss in geriatrics require the services of a dentist, and added that most accident cases call for dental support. 

"Some children may need braces to correct dental formula; others may need actual maxillofacial surgery to enhance their beauty because as we get older, one cannot do away I with 'spare parts' from the dentist," he remarked.

Dr Addo noted that the public needed dentists to educate them on the importance of oral health in relation to the transmission of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and other diseases as a result of the lack of knowledge on oral health.

He appealed to industries to collaborate with the school to help expand the current facilities and encouraged industries to play an advocacy role to help marshal resources to support the UGDS to stand on its feet.  

He donated one dental chair with a pledge to support the school to train about 50 dental surgeons annually.


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