Photo by Elsen Karstad
As the first work week in Meru came to a close, we had the opportunity to complete surveys, oral exams and OHI at another secondary school and two primary schools. As I reflect back on the week, I am amazed at how much we were able to accomplish in the first five days. In total, we were able to conduct studies at four secondary schools (high schools) and two primary schools. We were very organized in our efforts and it definitely showed with how much we were able to get done!
When we arrived at the schools in the morning and afternoon, we set up stations wherever possible. These stations were either outside or inside of the schools, depending on available areas. We teamed up in groups of 3 and conducted surveys and exams until we reached our ideal sample population. After we completed the exams, we provided OHI to the students and provided toothbrushes.
The students at the primary and secondary schools were amazing to work with! Many students at the secondary schools were very interested in learning about oral health and asked many questions. It was great to be able to hold a dialogue with the students and see how interested they were in what we were doing. Talking to the students gave us a chance to share the wealth of knowledge we have learned during our time in dental school. However, we just didn’t talk to the kids about dentistry. Many of us were able to talk about our lives in the States and ask many of the kids about their lives. It’s great to see how open the students were to talk to us and share little things about themselves. The students in the primary schools were also interested in the work we were doing. The type of communication was slightly different depending on age, however, enjoyable all together.