Empowering girls through the East Africa Oral Health Initiative: The EAOH Initiative
Kenya has seen a large increase in dental cavities due to western dietary habits.
Furthermore, gum disease is ubiquitous. As extreme poverty exists in Kenya, resources for treating dental diseases for the vast majority of the population is nonexistent. Prevention is a low cost and most effective method to reduce the burden of dental diseases. This requires a concerted health education program, such as the East Africa Oral Health Initiative.
Our Vision and Mission
The vision of EAOH is to improve the oral health of girls in east Africa, through education, training and self-empowerment.
To reduce the oral health disparities in East Africa, by educating as many girls as possible, who in turn educate their communities.
We are creating long term preventive educational programs that improve both oral and general health for girls of poverty in Kenya, East Africa and beyond.
Peter M Loomer BSc, DDS, Ph.D, MRCD
We focus on girls, because health education is the most effective means of helping a girl, her family, her children, and her community escape the cruel cycle of poverty.
Yvonne De Paiva Buischi, DDS, Ph.D
According to the World Health Organization, women in Africa share a disproportionally large burden of disease, in particular dental diseases. Families of poverty have limited resources to educate their children and girls end up being denied education. Educating girls to improve their oral and general health not only improves their well- being, but also promotes their socio-economic empowerment.
The first school enrolled in EAOH is Daraja Academy, in Kenya. Dr. Buischi discovered Daraja Academy in 2013, when she was invited to an event in New York City by her friend Deborah Santana, a devoted Daraja Education Fund supporter. Immediately touched by the mission of the Daraja Education Fund, Dr. Buischi began to plan a project with the students. When Dr. Loomer was recruited to NYU as Director of Global Health for Oral Health Sciences in early 2013, their collaborative effort to bring the Kenyan project to life began. Both doctors visited Kenya for the first time in February 2014 for an initial assessment and feasibility study.