New dental chairs a boost for Samoa hospitals

Eight orthodontic chairs were donated by the University of Otago's Faculty of Dentistry to the Samoan Ministry of Health's dental unit on Friday. 

Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, the Director General of the Health Ministry expressed his appreciation for the eight 2003 model Sirona C8+ dental units, saying the offer was gratefully accepted due to a rising need for assistance in performing dentistry operations.

Otago University has been a notable national dental health partner and has contributed over the years in filling the gap by providing professional development opportunities and the donation of dental equipment for Samoa, he said.

"This gift will enable the Ministry of Health to expand access to dental health care in Samoa," he said.

"The offer of eight orthodontic chairs by Professor Brunton was well accepted by the Prime Minister of Samoa Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, to further assist with government hospitals’ dental operations."

The new chairs will be installed at the national Hospital at Moto’otua and rural district hospitals at Lalomanu, Poutasi, in Upolu and Foailalo, Sataua and Safotu in Savaii.

After a recent trip to visit Otago students on placement in Samoa, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Health Sciences, Professor Paul Brunton, said he decided to make the offer of assistance.

“I saw the condition of the equipment they were using and how this was restricting what they could do for patients,” Professor Brunton explains.

Luckily, the Otago Faculty of Dentistry were going through an upgrade that left the chairs available.

“We had some chairs that we were replacing as part of our development of the new clinical services building at the dental school which I considered had plenty of life left in them; so I spoke with my colleagues who agreed to donate the chairs to the people of Samoa," he said. 

“I am delighted that we have managed to make this happen, the chairs will enable improved services to be offered to patients.”

Acting Head of the Faculty of Dentistry, Professor Karl Lyons, says one of the university’s goals is to contribute to progress internationally and in the region.

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