Photo courtesy of : Adventist Dental Practice, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Sars-Cov-2, which causes Covid-19, is spread primarily through droplets from mouth and nose fluids. In many cases, personal protection using gloves and facial masks may be relatively sufficient when working with general patients. However, in dental practice, almost all the procedures produce aerosol, that is a suspension of fine solid/liquid particles in gas. In the case of coronavirus, it means there is a high risk that virus particles mixed up with saliva will be in water used for cleaning teeth. Unfortunately, this water readily splashes on the dental personnel. As such, dental staff need very special personal protection equipment (PPE) for day to day practice. This kind of PPE is costly at this time due to the high need in the world. Therefore many dental practices have found it necessary to close down until many things can be put in place.
The Adventist Dental Practice (ADP), located in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe is one of the 13 dental practices in 6 countries operated by the church in SID. Almost all these facilities closed down at the beginning of March 2020 when the Covid-19 fear gripped our territory. With the current economic situation in Zimbabwe threatening to worsen, the concern to ever open ADP was very high. But we praise God that on the 14th of May ADP reopened. This was a result of the hard work of all the staff led by Dr Jesse Agra and support from the Zimbabwe West Union leadership. The team managed to gain support from a local tailor who made all the gowns and hats with acceptable reusable material. Despite the challenges Zimbabwe is currently facing, several local creative people helped to ensure that all the relevant PPE have been procured and the team is now able to assist the community even in the midst of Covid-19. We praise God for this glimmer of hope during such a difficult time.