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HVO launches oral health effort in Kenya; seeks volunteers

Washington—Health Volunteers Overseas seeks volunteers for its new oral surgery education program in Kikuyu, Kenya.

Partnering with the School of Dental Sciences at the University of Nairobi and the PCEA Kikuyu Mission Hospital, HVO volunteers will provide clinical and didactic training to 11 oral and maxillofacial surgery undergraduate students currently enrolled in the four-year master of science program at the School of Dental Sciences. Volunteers will also provide training to two community dental officers and the graduate oral and maxillofacial registrars, who will rotate through PCEA Kikuyu Mission Hospital.

Volunteers must be fully trained, board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons who hold a current license to practice. Assignments are for a minimum of two weeks.

The primary goal of HVO's new program is to increase the number of oral and maxillofacial surgeons available to Kenya's increasing population, and to improve the quality and availability of oral health care.

With a population of 39 million people, Kenya has only 22 oral and maxillofacial surgeons. This ratio of one oral maxillofacial surgeon to 1.77 million patients results in over-burdened surgeons and inadequate service availability.

The American Dental Association and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons sponsor HVO's Oral Health Initiative Programs.

Health Volunteers Overseas is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1986 to improve global health through the education of local health care providers. The organization has designed and implemented clinical and didactic education programs in child health, primary care, trauma and rehabilitation, essential surgical care, oral health, blood disorders and cancer, infectious disease, nursing education and wound management in more than 25 resource-poor countries. HVO volunteers train, mentor and provide critical professional support to health care providers who care for the neediest populations in the most difficult of circumstances. For more information, visit hvousa.org. For additional international volunteer opportunities visit the ADA International Volunteer Webpage, internationalvolunteer.ada.org, or call the ADA Division of Global Affairs, Ext. 2726.