Dr Mulongo Bakona treating Tasha, 11, on the new dental chair
The office of Dr Mulongo Bakona, dentist at Shangazi health centre in Ruashi, Congo, looks different since November 2013. A large blue dental chair now has pride of place behind his desk. This new chair has radically changed his work conditions.
"Before receiving this chair, I was working under difficult conditions, let me say unacceptable conditions," says Dr Mulongo. "To treat a patient, I was obliged to let them sit on a plastic chair or lie on a bench. I am pleased that these conditions changed with the two dental chairs that we received from World Vision. "
Every day, between 10 and 15 patients consult the dentist in this suburban neighbourhood of Lubumbashi. Among patients Dr Mulongo treats this morning, Tasha, 11. She has a decayed tooth that the dentist is going to extract. In less than five minutes, the tooth is extracted, Tasha kept cool during the short operation with anaesthesia and the comfort of the chair says the doctor. "Parents are more confident since they know we have a dental chair as in major hospitals. They come and confidently leave us their children and go to work."
More than six months, Shangazi health centre had written to World Vision to request equipment for their dental service. This donation of World Vision enables them to work in improved standards reports Dr Mulongo. "We can only be grateful for receiving these two chairs that allow us to work more effectively even in remote areas where people are very poor”.
Diseases related to teeth are common in this area, affecting mostly children and pregnant women. But the dentist still faces a lack of appropriate materials and special products to treat all cases. "We are limited to conservative care, cavities and cavity complications. We also do preventative care for children at high risk for cavities, "says the dentist.