Description: Dental extraction marathon 2004  Tags: Dental, extraction, marathon, 2004 Photograph (right): During the tooth extraction marathon nurse Moraki (National Hospital), Dr George Harris, (Anaesthesiology), Mr Steve Bridge (Abbott), and Dr Wilna Hebler (Anaesthesiology) are here with a patient.

The Department Anaesthesiology of the University of the Free State in co-operation with the Department of Family Medicine, the Southern Free State District Dental Services, and National District Hospital held a dental extraction marathon at the beginning of December 2004 in Bloemfontein.  Abbott provided sevoflurane (Ultane®) for this occasion.

Many children from disadvantaged areas need single up to complete denture extraction, for which anaesthesia is necessary.  Due to a lack of capacity on primary care level, a huge backlog of children who need dental repair or extraction under anaesthesia developed in the Southern Free State Region. The Departments of Family Medicine and Anaesthesiology took the initiative to arrange a marathon dental session over 8 days, when their personnel were available, to help reduce the backlog. Every day a theatre was used throughout the day to do dental work. National Hospital provided the infrastructure and necessary nursing personnel and Abbott donated sevoflurane (Ultane®), which was not available at the hospital. The dental work was done by personnel of the Southern Free State District Dental Services

During the Marathon 110 children between 3 and 7 years received dental care and a few older mentally retarded patients were also taken care of. For these patients the effort ended a lot of misery.

To improve the long term conditions, the Departments Anaesthesiology and Family Medicine has an agreement in which members of the Department Family Medicine are trained by Anaesthesiology in order to provide permanent dental and other anaesthetic services at National Hospital.

Good co-operation by all the parties will improve medical conditions for the poor. This is an excellent example of co-operation by the Academic and Health Departments and also the Private Sector.


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