On 9 and 10 August 2017, in conjunction with data collection for student research project, a community program was conducted at the SK Pendidikan Khas Kuantan, Bandar Indera Mahkota 2, Kuantan. The school consist of about 60 pupil aged six to twelve years old children with special needs including pre-school children. They are either having hearing disabilities or visual disabilities. Almost all of student stay in the hostel of the school which they are looked after by ‘Pembantu pengurusan murd (PPM)’. It is the only boarding school in Pahang that host children with disabilities whereby the students are from various part of Pahang. There were seven Year 4 and 5 Kulliyyah of Dentistry (KOD) students, voluntary involved in this program under three KOD lecturer’s supervision.
Looking at the fact that they are special needs children and they live in the hostel by themselves at a very young age, it is in need for this program whereby we teach them the importance and the correct technique of toothbrushing. Dental check-up was conducted by the three dental specialist which were also the lecturer. The result of the check-up was given to their parent for them to seek treatment at nearby dental clinic if needed.
At the same time, it is a good experience for the KOD students as they get an exposure and opportunity to learn and practice their theoretical knowledge in handling and communicating with these children. Hopefully this program will give an inspiration to them to become a very empathy and caring dentist after they graduate. The Prophet ﷺ himself also encouraged us to feel empathy for each other, he was reported to have said: “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.” [Bukhari]
In conclusion, we hope that this program will inspire oral health awareness among the pupils, teachers and PPM of the school, and also become a pioneer to a future community program. We also hope that this program will continue and targeted more on the teachers, carers and parents of these children.