Samoa to benefit from replaced dental chairs

Staff from the University of Otago's Pacific Islands Centre, Eric Nabalagi (left), Frances...
Staff from the University of Otago's Pacific Islands Centre, Eric Nabalagi (left), Frances Brebner, and Va'a O Tautai help load dental chairs into a shipping container. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The University of Otago is gifting old dental chairs from its dental school to the Samoan Ministry of Health to assist with dental care in the Pacific nation.

Eight 2003 Sirona C8+ dental unit models were shipped in a container from Port Otago and have arrived in Apia in time for an official ceremony between a delegation from the university and the Samoan Government today.

Pro-vice chancellor of the Division of Health Sciences Prof Paul Brunton came up with the idea following a trip to Samoa to visit Otago students on placement.

"I saw the condition of the equipment they were using and how this was restricting what they could do for patients," he said.

"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.

"I am delighted that we have managed to make this happen. The chairs will enable improved services to be offered to patients."

Samoan director-general of health Leausa Samau Dr Take Naseri, said the Samoan Ministry of Health was very grateful for the donation, which would enable the ministry to expand access to dental healthcare.

The chairs would be distributed to the National Hospital at Moto'otua, and the rural district hospitals at Lalomanu, Poutasi, in Upolu and Foailalo, Sataua and Safotu, in Savaii.


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