“We are only left with one dentist out of the required three. The first one resigned in 2012 for greener pastures while the other left last week to further their studies,” the city health services director Stanley Mungofa told The Zimbabwean.
“Two dental therapists resigned in 2012 and we are yet to replace them and currently our six dental clinics with an establishment of 24 operators are less than half-staffed.”
The local authority has four polyclinics with dental units plus Gershon Dental Clinic (GDC) based at Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital, the biggest public oral health centre in the country in terms of operations.
According to the city’s statistics a total of 6,485 people visited GDC in 2012, 82 per cent of the total number of patients seen in all dental units at polyclinics.
Harare city council runs 12 polyclinics and two hospitals.
“At Rustanana Polyclinic in Glen Norah, the dental unit is not functional; at Mabvuku Polyclinic, it is semi-functional, but we do have working services at Kuwadzana and Mufakose polyclinics. Our wish is to have a dental unit at every polyclinic with both tooth extraction and restorative surgery services,” said Mungofa.
According to the City of Harare 2012 Annual Health Report, keeping Mabvuku and Hatcliffe dental clinics operational was a challenge due to transport problems.
“In the last half of the year, staff shortage meant we had to close Hatcliffe and Mabvuku dental clinics temporarily.
Mungofa said, under normal circumstances, the three dentists would be stationed at GDC and oversee other dental units.
“This is where the transport problems come in. The dentists’ main role is to supervise dental therapists stationed at polyclinics and deal with complicated cases when necessary,” said Mungofa.
Mungofa lamented that most of the dental equipment at the clinics was obsolete.
“Lack of resources is our main challenge and most of our equipment is long overdue for replacement.”Post published in: News