False Bay Hospital makes the children smile

Buyiswa Achongiwe, gives a treat to her daughter, Vulindlela, before the child went into surgery. With them are False Bay Hospital staff, from left, theatre cleaner Genevieve Witbooi, Buyiswa Achongiwe, dentist Lynne Steenkamp and nurse, sister Andrea Arendse.

False Bay Hospital celebrated Mandela Day by increasing its list for dental extractions to accommodate an extra 20 patients aged 3 to 6.

Hospital theatre manager, Sister Andrea Arendse, said usually up to eight patients were treated every second week at the hospital.

“We have quite a number of children on our waiting list for extractions, and our patients sometimes have to wait a while for an extraction,” she said.

The hospital services a large area, stretching from Noordhoek to Retreat.

Sister Arendse said Mandela Day was the perfect day to perform as many extractions as possible.

“We knew it was going to be a challenge, but we wanted to do something meaningful. Before I started nursing, I was a dental assistant, and I know what it is like for children to have to live with toothache. It makes such a huge difference in the children’s lives as well as for their parents,” she said.

Dr Hoosain Lalkhen, who performed the extractions and led the team said: “We really look forward to helping the children each year. To have the opportunity to accommodate more patients is great because some of these children have been in pain for such a long time.

“For some children, it is traumatic to have their teeth extracted while under local anaesthetic. They end up fearing dentists, and so today we will be giving them a mask with gas in order to apply general anaesthetic and this ends up being less traumatic for them.”

Dr Lalkhen’s son,Yazeed, did not want to miss out on the
experience and sent a treat for each of the children and a note of encouragement, which was handed to each child before their procedure.