The proposed project builds on previous work that brought together key stakeholders to begin the dialogue needed to assess oral health needs and gaps in Kenya and the East African region. In these previous initiatives, we have used consensus-building and modified Delphi methods to develop a framework to address oral health in East Africa, and have developed a learning laboratory between Kenya and Brazil, in order to promote cross-national knowledge transfer.
The proposed project seeks to address a key issue that emerged in our prior work – oral health workforce training and retention. Given the small number of dentists practicing in Kenya, and the growing oral health burden, the need to integrate oral health programming with existing health services delivery systems is urgent, but expertise in program planning and evaluation is lacking.
We will work with our partners at the University of Nairobi and the Ministry of Health, to develop, implement and test a program planning and evaluation train-the-trainer curriculum and toolkit that will be delivered to key stakeholders. In so doing, we will leverage the potential of an existing collaborative to build local capacity, and will implement a program that has a high potential for sustainability. Since this work can be modified for translation to other sites and settings, we will work with our partners and the CGC Nairobi to seek external funding for a future e-learning initiative that can be disseminated to other regions with similar health needs.