Dental Care in Kakuma

Sure. A dental visit is cause for joy.

Kakuma Refugee Camp is one of the oldest and largest continually operational refugee camps in the world. Without the right to work and freedom to move elsewhere, life in Kakuma is seen by many as ‘living in limbo.’ But it can be so much more than that.

For many patients in places with developed medical infrastructure, visits to the dentist’s office are often met with feelings of dread. In Kakuma, the sole dental officer serving a population of around 200,000 people has limited access to the necessary instruments, sanitation facilities, and space, but is still able to see around 100 patients a day, many of whom are unable to perform essential tasks like eating or drinking due to decay or infection.

In both 2018 and 2019, IsraAID deployed American dental specialists for short-term missions, treating hundreds of severe cases each. Alongside working in the clinic, the visiting dentists focused on oral hygiene education for refugee children and their parents.


“[Dental care] helps protect me when I can’t eat.

Where I come from, you can’t remove [teeth] problems because there is war. There are no more hospitals. When I came here they told me there was a provider who could remove the teeth and I was so grateful. I couldn’t wait.”

Malachi, from South Sudan

Kakuma, Kenya

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