•Twice a year I come to University of Eastern Africa, Baraton to conduct a free dental clinic for the community and the surrounding area
•Residents, many of whom have never had dental care before, turned up at the clinic in large numbers
In an exceptional act of kindness and community outreach, Mrs Universe 2021-2022, Lynelle DeRoo Marcos from Lancaster, California, an Oral Hygiene Instruction expert on October 8-10, 2023, embarked on a mission to bring smiles to the residents of Nandi County by offering free dental services at the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton (UEAB).
With a crown that symbolises more than just elegance, Lynelle is utilising her stage to address one of the foremost fundamental yet frequently neglected aspects of healthcare – oral hygiene.
“Twice a year I come to University of Eastern Africa, Baraton to conduct a free dental clinic for the community and the surrounding area,” Lynelle said.
“I had come to Africa as a guest from America and learnt through one of the other speakers that there's a massive need for dental care because there's a deficiency of providers. The most perfect way to assist people is to prevent problems for which they have nothing to fix.”
Residents, many of whom have never had dental care before, turned up at the clinic in large numbers at the recent clinic she hosted. The demand for these services shows the crucial need for such initiatives.
One of the beneficiaries of the free dental service, Timothy Chebet, a Usain Gishu county resident, shared his encounter. “I’ve been suffering from toothache for months now, but Mrs Universe has given me the opportunity to get treatment and relief from my pain. I'm so thankful for her kindness.”
“We have individuals in our society who can’t afford dental treatment and they are suffering. Having this initiative will be so supportive to the community at large and our own Government ought to come up with such health initiatives,” he added.
Edith Amata, a resident at Nandi County who brought her young son and daughter for a check-up after complaints of toothache, clarified on how she was going home a happy mother.
“For those of us who are unable to afford the dental clinic check-ups, we have taken this opportunity to get help. Today am going home upbeat with my kids wearing smiles. We are also asking the government to lay such programs for other illnesses as well and we'll appreciate as a community,” she said.
Lynelle said her aim is to raise dental health awareness as it is connected to overall wellbeing.
"I do that by clarifying to people that there are more than 55 diseases associated with this,” Lynelle said.
Lynelle also has a trademark in the United States that helps individuals understand why they need to take care of their oral hygiene.
“It’s called the Smile System for Brushing and it includes a lot of anatomy, physiology and microbiology that helps individuals understand why they need to do this.”
She plans to expand this programme to other counties in Kenya and the rest of Africa. “This is like my pilot program; I want to get a mobile clinic truck so that I can take this to other parts of the Kenya and the surrounding countries," she explained.
As Lynelle continues her mission to offer free dental services and promote oral hygiene awareness, the people of Nandi County and the surrounding can look forward to healthier smiles and a brighter, more confident future.
Lynelle is Mrs Universe 2021-2022.
“My message to the world is, care for other people, help others and keep in mind to always brush your teeth,” she said.