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Community Dental Workers

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In 2017 a team of dental hygienists lead by Kelly Antosh began teaching oral health to community health workers, nursing students and medical students in Tanzanian communities. Surprisingly, medical and dental schools do not provide training in oral health or related issues. In 2018, a Canadian hygienist, sponsored by PCF, spent several months at Ifakara, Tanzania and began the oral health education process in schools and other community settings.

In 2020, it became clear that in the context of the UN setting Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’S) and in recognizing the need to transition from traditional to transformational development projects, PCF needed to dedicate its international development aid. Traditional development requires an ongoing flow of external resources in order to continue to improve people's lives (e.g. through better health provision, education, etc.) or to preserve the environment.

In 2021, with the full support of Provision Charitable Foundation, Dr. Ken Stones and Kelly Antosh started a preventative oral health program in rural Tanzania. The foundation of this program was to create sustainable, community led oral health education. This program is a community driven initiative and does not use a western approach of flying in and fixing dental problems. The Community Oral Health Program (COHP) currently has a team of 8 community dental workers, members of their own communities, that are equipt to educate rural people on how to prevent oral disease.


This transformational approach is supported by reports from WHO that show oral diseases are among the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and may affect people throughout their lifetime, causing pain, disfigurement and even death. In the WHO African Region, where 80% of the population have low socioeconomic status, these diseases affect the health and well-being of millions of people. Most of these oral diseases are either preventable or treatable in their early stages.

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