Kikuyu Hospital Dental Clinic
In June of 2000 the First Presbyterian Church of Fargo, North Dakota sent a mission group to the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) Kikuyu Hospital just outside Nairobi, Kenya. During this mission trip, a plan to build a dental unit was initiated with direction from Dr. Salvador de la Torre, the medical director of the hospital.
The vision was to build a modern dental unit to serve adults and children that would provide immediate comprehensive and preventive services to the general public with special emphasis on the poorest segments of society. Outreach programs would be developed to provide immediate care for those in pain and for referral to the clinic. Neighboring schools and orphanages were to receive outreach, preventive dental education and services. The facility would offer opportunities for mission-minded professionals from the United States and other countries to volunteer their time and talents as educators or service providers. The clinic was to provide quality comprehensive dental services in a pleasant environment and adhere to the highest quality sterilization procedures
The goal and objective of the dental unit would be that it would be operated and maintained by the PCEA Kikuyu Hospital,. It would be financially self-sustaining, based on fees and services within two years after beginning operation.
The process of the development of the dental unit would be in accordance with a mutually agreed upon Memorandum of Understanding and Business Plan between the PCEA, Kikuyu Hospital and the First Presbyterian Church of Fargo, ND. Good stewardship, dedication, and persistence would exemplify the ability of people through partnerships to work together to address the needs of communities.
A schematic plan developed by Patterson Dental was approved by the Kikuyu Hospital Board. An architect from Nairobi was hired, a detailed architectural plan was completed, and through a bidding process, a contractor was selected. Construction was completed and the clinic was formally dedicated September 9, 2006.
The clinic consists of eight fully equipped treatment rooms, a central x-ray room, a central sterilization room, and a fully equipped dental laboratory. This included $100,000 of operational support for two years. The clinic has been financially self-sufficient since 2009.
Support for this project was received from over one hundred individuals, including dental equipment manufacturers (A-dec, Inc., RAMVAC), dental supply companies (Patterson Dental and Schein Dental), several Presbyterian churches, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, the Kikuyu Hospital Board, the International College of Dentists USA, Section, ICD of North Dakota, and the ND Dental Foundation. Extreme gratitude go to the many volunteers at the First Presbyterian Church in Fargo, and friends and leaders from the Presbyterian Church of East Africa. This dream has been made possible because of dedication, perseverance, and extraordinary efforts throughout the process. “…with God all things are possible.”
The clinic is fully operational, staffed by Kenyans, is a center for learning, and it has established multiple outreach programs in schools, orphanages, and remote villages. The clinic is bustling with activity, and it is providing dental services for those in need in Kenya and beyond. It has received volunteer groups from the USA and around the globe, including Global Dental Relief, Health Volunteers Overseas, Dental students from the University of Michigan (USA), University of Manchester, University of New Castle, University of Leads (UK), University of Nairobi, Ludwig Macmillan University (Germany), Institute of Health Care Management (Nairobi), the Kenya Oral Health Initiative, and the Kenya Medical Training Center to name a few.
Efforts to facilitate volunteerism and support continues through the Kenya Oral Health Initiative.