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UMDS Hosts Dean of Kenyan Dental School

Written by Adam Zewe

The University of Maryland Dental School has established an international collaboration with a major East African university. Dr. Evelyn Wagaiyu, dean of the School of Dental Sciences at the University of Nairobi, visited UMDS on May 10 to learn how the school utilizes the latest educational technologies.

During a tour, Dean Christian Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent, and Dr. Bernard Levy, showcased extensive laboratories and demonstrated high-tech teaching tools. Dr. Wagaiyu watched students practice precise endodontic restorations in the simulation lab. She admired the digital technology and the use of haptic devices for remote learning. "I'm impressed by the way everything runs so efficiently. Everything is documented and monitored by the computer systems," she remarks.

After visiting the Perryville clinic, Dr. Wagaiyu hopes to use it as a model to establish satellite campuses in rural areas near Nairobi, Kenya's capital and largest city. A lack of equipment, materials and full-time dentists makes it difficult to provide oral health care services in rural Kenya. "If students learn in rural areas, they might be more inclined to practice there," she explains.

A partnership between UMDS and the University of Nairobi is a win-win for both institutions, remarks Dr. Stohler. The two schools can share expertise and cooperatively research HIV and vaccines. "Collaboration brings our assets together and creates opportunities for wonderful new sciences," he states.

UMDS plans to launch an academic externship program with the University of Nairobi, providing students with an opportunity to study dentistry in a unique environment. "It is a top-notch, growing dental school in a city that students would really like to see," says Dr. Levy. Dr. Wagaiyu is looking forward to the partnership so students at both schools can learn from each other.

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