Help for people in need: a health facility in São Tomé and Príncipe
In 2008 NAK-karitativ and the New Apostolic Church in São Tomé und Príncipe provided funds for a health facility in this small African island state. Recently, new X-ray equipment was installed in the dental clinic, which belongs to the facility.
Building a health facility
In many countries across the world, medical care is inadequate. In fact, sometimes it is so bad that sick people have to travel a long way to find a doctor. Until twelve years ago this was also the case in this small African island state. The people living on the island often had to fly as far as Portugal for dental treatment. By the time they finally did get to a dentist, all he could still do for them was extract the teeth.
Fortunately, twelve years ago the situation on São Tomé and Príncipe changed with the building of a medical centre on the property of the New Apostolic Church in Santana. The building, which also includes a dental surgery, received funds from NAK-karitativ, the charity of the New Apostolic Churches in Germany, and the local New Apostolic Church.
In February 2020 then the dental surgery received X-ray equipment. A team of five, including an electrical engineer, two dental technicians and dentists from Germany, travelled to São Tomé and Príncipe and helped with the installation of the new digital X-ray machine. The machine, which came from Germany, had previously been shipped to the island state.
Advantages for the local people
“For the local population (about 200,000 people) and tourists this dental surgery sure offers many benefits. Where before people had to fly to Portugal for dental treatment, examinations and treatment can now be carried out on the island,” say Ole Kraft and Martin Pätzold of NAK-karitativ. The machine, which is the only one of its kind on the island, will not only be used in dentistry, but also to diagnose ear, nose, and throat disorders.
Training dental technicians and doctors
To make sure that the equipment will be used properly, two young people from the town of Trinidad were trained by a German dental technician and one of the initiators of the project, in the making of dental caps and bridges. He and additional dentists, who are supporting the project, will continue to help train local dental technicians and doctors.