Although far more worthwhile causes exist than funds to support them, unlike many other health needs in Africa such as HIV, tuberculosis, infantile diarrhea and parasitic infections, very little government, NGO or philanthropic effort supports oral health or sickle cell disease.
For example, the World Health Organization has defined oral health as “a state of being free from chronic mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infection and sores, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and psychosocial wellbeing.” It has declared “oral diseases as the most common non-communicable diseases (affecting) people throughout their lifetime, causing pain, discomfort, disfigurement and even death.”
Similarly, in 2006, the World Health Organization designated sickle cell disease “a prevalent medical condition with clinical severity, contributing to the under 5-year old deaths on the African continent.” Subsequent research estimated the under-5 mortality rate as between 6 and 15%, depending upon location. Put another way, 90 -95% of young children afflicted with sickle cell disease will die before age 5. By contrast, that same fraction of sickle cell disease children in developed countries who obtain diagnoses and appropriate supportive care survive into adulthood, and their average life expectancy is 50 years.
Nevertheless, other than advocacy, the World Health Organization and other bodies have done little or nothing to address either condition, especially in the remote rural regions where, as in the case of Zambia, 90% of the population lives on subsistence farming.
Therefore, by supporting Options efforts to deliver substantive help to sufferers of dental disease and sickle cell disease you help (to use a dental metaphor) fill in a huge cavity and are really “making a difference.”
Make a Donation
Ways to Help
Donate by Mail
Options for Children in Zambia
Honor someone special
Honor or remember someone special by making a gift in their name
Credit Card or Paypal
Use the form above to make your donation with your credit card or Paypal account.
Purchase for a Purpose
A special way to donate and get an immediate reward — purchase beautiful jewelry handmade in a rural Zambian village of Muchila; purchases proceeds benefit village women!
Examples of what your donations could help purchase
Portable dental unit
$700 per trip
Mission transportation & accommodations
$3,000 per trip
$6,000 per year
Support for Zambian Dental Training School mission outreach
$3,000 per year
Support for University Teaching Hospital mission outreach
$3,000 per year
Dental x ray machine
Volunteer materials (instruction books, scrubs etc)
Drilling one bore hole and install pump
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