NPO provides free dentistry for intellectually disabled

Moegamat Waggie comforts his daughter, Qudsiyah, in the recovery section after her dental procedure.

The Vision Medical Suite (VMS), a non-profit organisation, provided free dental work at Oaklands High School for the intellectually disabled on Sunday.

About 45 patients came for dental work, done under sedation, at the Lansdowne school, according to VMS chairman Hashiem da Costa.

“Our focus was to treat the intellectually disabled from institutions and private patients. We had a team full of medical practitioners and volunteers who assisted.”

VMS has offices in Belgravia and Parkwood. It was founded by dentist Dr Yusuf da Costa, who ran a dental practice in Parkwood and wanted to give back to the poor community. It expanded to include a medical division, run by Dr Nasreen Allie, and a psychology division, run by Habib Kagee.

Moegamat Waggie, from Steenberg, brought his daughter, Qudsiyah, 4, for dental extractions, fillings and a clean. He said it was hard for him to take his daughter, who has Down syndrome, for treatment at a regular hospital.

“VMS has been extremely professional. The doctors managed her well, and the medical staff and volunteers dedicate their time and effort to help everyone at this mobile clinic.”

Mr Waggie said his daughter had a heart operation at Red Cross War Memorial Hospital when she was seven months old. “Today she is doing so much better; she has been a fighter since birth,” he said, adding that Qudsiyah enjoyed dancing and singing.

According to the VMS, it can cost about R7000 to treat each patient and the organisation depends on support from private donors and health-care professionals. “We are always looking for support, and if people would like to volunteer and give up some of their time, they are welcome to do so,” Mr Da Costa said.

VMS will hold its next dental-sedation clinic at Islamia College on Sunday November 19.

Visit vmscharity.org.za or call Mr Da Costa at 081 766 2874 for more information.

VMS staff and volunteers who helped at the dental sedation clinic at Oaklands High School.
From left are VMS chairman Hashiem da Costa, medical head Nasreen Allie and founder Dr Yusuf da Costa.