East Makira Dental Project

Makira-Ulawa Province only has one dentist, Dr. Stewart, in Kirakira, for a population of 55,000 spread over an area the size of Tasmania.  With only one road connecting about one fifth of the towns, few people can access dental care.  Dr. Stewart visits the rural areas by boat once a year for a day to provide basic care, but the lack of phone communication means they often miss out on his visit.

The dental clinic in Kirakira is inadequate to provide proper dental care.  It has no running water, no x-ray machine, a dental chair that does not move.  Gum disease is rampant, but he has no equipment to clean teeth.

This aim of this project is to:

1. Improve the quality and accessibility of dental services in the province by:

  • Upgrade the Kirakira Dental clinic, to enable Dr. Stewart to provide proper dental care
  • Fit out a new dental clinic in Namuga to enable closer access to dental care in the Eastern half of the province.

A new dental clinic has been built as part of the new Namuga hospital, but it needs equipment.  A Solomon Island dentist has been identified to work here once it has been completed.

2. Design a rural outreach School Dental programme that encompasses education and treatment that is cost effective and manpower effective that can prevent early deterioration of dental health.

There is no rural outreach school programme that offers treatment in Solomon Islands. 

We have equipment that can be carried to the school, where we examine all the primary school and kindergarten children, and provide dental treatment.  Local community members have received training to assist us and  village healthcare volunteers will receive ongoing training to provide oral health education to their communities.

Na’apu School has now incorporated oral health education into its curriculum.

If successful, it is hoped to expand the programme to other areas.


When Where No. of students treated
June 2016 Kindergarten:  Namuga
Primary Schools: Namuga
Secondary Schools: Namuga  
182 students
Nov 2017 Kindergarten: Namuga, Geta, Naruka
Primary schools: Namuga, Na’apu
Secondary schools: Namuga
283 students
April 2018 2 day oral health workshop with community members, leaders and village healthcare volunteers from Mweraro, Mami, Naruka, Torah
Oct 2018 Primary Schools: Namuga, Na’apu
Secondary schools: Namuga
252 students

Special Thanks to : SDI who have been providing materials for all our dental trips.  Silver fluoride and hand mix GIC filling material that has enabled us to provide care to so many students.

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