‘I am grateful to UCU for its competent dental team’
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2023/01/i-am-grateful-to-ucu-for-its-competent-dental-team/
By Irene Best Nyapendi
The career journey of Uganda Christian University (UCU) School of Dentistry student Peter Kabuye started out with bumps. In 2018, Kabuye was staring at a bleak future after missing out on studying dentistry at Makerere University, which he thought was the only institution with the program.
“When I was informed by one colleague of mine about UCU’s plan to start a School of Dentistry, I was extremely positive and happy that I was finally going to pursue a Bachelor of Dental Surgery,” Kabuye says.
UCU started the course in August 2018 to fill the gap of dentists in Uganda. Uganda Dental Association estimates that the country has only about 320 dentists licensed to practice in a population of over 45 million – that is a ratio of one dental surgeon for 146,000 people. The recommended dentist-population ratio should be 1:7,500, according to the World Health Organisation.
Kabuye says he ventured into dentistry because he wants to be an agent of change and influence in the oral health care sector globally. He is passionate about promoting oral health and preventing oral diseases in his community.
“There is still much to do in regards to promoting oral health,” he says. “I feel I am destined for greatness and I am inspired by Dr. Martin Aliker, to start up my own dental clinic,”. Dr Aliker is distinguished among Uganda’s first dental surgeons and with the first black-owned private dental practice in East Africa.
UCU’s holistic education
Kabuye is full of praises for the teaching staff of professional doctors that strive to impart medical professionalism at the school. “Dentistry being one of the most expensive programs, I dearly appreciate UCU for providing the clinic, equipment and meeting all the requirements needed to enhance our learning,” Kabuye says.
Students have a fully-fledged dental clinic where they are able to practice under the supervision of a doctor. “I am so grateful to UCU for its competent and good dental team which gives us skills of the practice that any student would want,” he adds.
It is a blessing to study at UCU because it teaches a complete education that includes spirituality. The staff and students gather for special worship for an hour, twice every week. Kabuye acknowledges that such fellowships have improved his spiritual life as a Christian.
“Every community worship session is a platform for learning. There’s always something to learn – for instance, when they preached about addiction and sexuality, I had a lot to learn during the session,” he recalls.
He says he has learned to be patient and honest, traits that have enabled him to handle patients properly.
Kabuye believes that one needs God in order to be a good dental surgeon. He explains that as dentists, they not only talk to their patients about the physical wellbeing, but also about their spiritual life.
“Some things are beyond human understanding, and one just needs God,” he quips.
Now, in his final semester of the five-year course, Kabuye is fully motivated to be a dental surgeon that goes beyond making money, to one who serves humanity. He has pledged to sensitize communities about oral health education, especially to the vulnerable through dental outreaches.
Kabuye is a man on a mission inspired by the vision to “see patients leave with a smile on their faces” after attending to them. He will graduate this July a proud first UCU alumnus of the school of dentistry, who saw it blossom from a department under the school of medicine on its inception to morphing into a school in 2021.
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