In an effort to promote dental health care in Liberia, the Liberia Dental Therapy School situated in the compound of the ELWA has named Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor as Chief Patron.
The Liberia Dental Therapy School with an aim to develop a dental workforce and ensure greater access to dental care across the entire country, on Wednesday launched the Liberia Dental Therapy School through the Trinity Dental Clinic at the ELWA Hospital.
The school is expected to begin in September 2022 to run a formal two-year Dental Therapist training course, named the Liberia Dental Therapy School with the first four students, and anticipate graduating Eight Dental Therapy Practitioners (DTP) by July 2024.
Dr Stretton-Downes Principal Dental of the Trinity Dental clinic, ELWA Hospital, on behalf of the Liberia Dental Hospital has named VP Jewel Howard-Taylor as patron of the Liberia Dental Therapy School for her numerous roles and support to the ELWA family.
He said in Liberia, a country in West Africa with a population of five million people, there are currently only seven dentists registered with the Liberian Medical and Dental Council, so there is still a need for more dentists in Liberia.
“Liberia has no dental training facilities, and the acute shortage of dental workforce poses a serious public health problem so we will begin the program with our first four students and other students will join the programme in subsequent years.
“Upon graduation, graduates will have completed a 2-year diploma course, and be awarded certification by Cuttington University, a partner University in Liberia with academic support provided by Peninsula Dental School, University of Plymouth, UK,” he said.
“In the longer term, the aim of this programme is to provide training for a more significant number of students through the construction and equipping of a bespoke Therapist School building to meet the growing need for dental practitioners within Liberia. Funds are being sought to complete this aspect of the project
“They will also be licensed by the Liberia Medical and Dental Council to then return to their hometowns around Liberia. They will be fully equipped using Dental-supplied field kits. Clinically, they will not only have the full support of the clinic, but they will also be able to generate their own income as they continue to work with patients in the rural areas,” he added.
Jewel Howard-Taylor assures her full support to work with the school in an effort to train more dentists that will contribute greatly to the health sector of Liberia.
“The school when begin will help greatly to increase dentists in Liberia, so I will try my utmost best to reach out to concession companies in Liberia to see how they could help raise funds for the dental school as well that would one day benefit them as the school put out more dentists to serve humanity. And I see this as a private-public partnership with ELWA and we all can help raise the funds required to build the school,” she said.