Last month, two deans from the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York City visited Nyumbani. Dean Stephen Nicholas is the Associate Dean of Admissions, at Columbia Medical Center’s College of Physicians & Surgeons. Stephen is a long friend of Nyumbani’s who knew our founder Father D’Agostino. Christian Stohler is the Dean of the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and senior vice president of Columbia University Medical Center.
Nicholas and Stohler were in Nairobi for the East Africa Oral Health Summit, a two day event host ed by Columbia University and Unilever. The deans were part of a group of over 100 leaders in oral health from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the United States. The group addressed regional priorities for oral health care prevention and education. They also defined steps to address existing gaps in care and develop a plan to implement oral health educational policies.
Oral health is a particularly important problem in Kenya as the National Oral Health Survey 2015 reports that there are only 1,000 dentists in Kenya serving a population of 42 million people, a ratio of 1:42,000
During their time in Kenya, Sister Mary, executive director of Nyumbani was honored to host both Columbia deans to during their courtesy visit to Nyumbani. They visited all three programs: Nyumbani Children’s Home, Lea Toto and Nyumbani Village. Columbia University College of Dental Medicine hopes to partner with Nyumbani concerning oral health and generously made a donation before their departure.
We are very thankful for the friendship of Stephen Nicholas and Christian Stohler and their dedication to oral health in Kenya.