Project details

Start date: June 4th 2019
Status: Finished
Duration: 9 weeks
Country: Kenya
Coordinator: Alice Grasveld
Number of participants: 4
Number of local researchers: 2
Partner organisation: Healthy Teeth Foundation, Dutch Dental Care Foundation

Sustainable Development Goals

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A Community-based Tooth-decay Prevention Project

A Participatory Action Research into oral health among children in Mamba village in Kwale, Kenya.

Project team

Situation

About 80% of the children in African townships or poverty-stricken rural areas has tooth decay and therefore toothache is one of the most important reasons for school absenteeism and low self-esteem. Because children are in pain, they do not go to school and this is detrimental for their future. Education is an important way to escape the ‘poverty trap’. ‘A Community-based Tooth-decay Prevention Project’ was a Participatory Action Research into oral health among children in Mamba village in Kwale, Kenya. A collaboration between The Healthy Teeth Foundation (THTF), the dental charity Dutch Dental Care Foundation  & SEVEN SENSES.  

PAR Design

Outcome

An action plan was created with the community to improve oral health among children, focused on ownership and sustainability. Teachers, parents, health workers, the area chief, the herbalist, the village elders et cetera were involved in this project. About 1200 primary school students will wash their hands and brush their teeth on a daily basis under supervision of the teachers and the ‘health club students’ from now on. Stakeholders in the village were connected. Awareness about oral hygiene & diet was created. Also a play was made by the pupils to educate the community about oral health. Insights in the relationship between Kenyan culture & oral health were obtained.

In May 2020, there are 2000 children participating in the community-based prevention plan of The Healthy Teeth Foundation. The rest of the village is also involved.

Impact

This project has raised awareness in the community of Mamba Village about the consequences of poor oral health and a poor diet for the future of children. Now parents and children know what they need to do to prevent these problems.

Founder and challenge supervisor Alice Grasveld won the Viva400 award in Category ‘World Improvers’ with this project. Her first project with SEVEN SENSES, the ‘Healthy Teeth Challenge‘ inspired Alice Grasveld to start The Healthy Teeth Foundation in 2018, focusing on Participatory Action Research into oral health and education amongst disadvantaged children all around the world.

Also read this blog: The Healthy Teeth Foundation.

Project images