ZOS Meets "The Rig"
What a ride!
In early July, Dr. Joseph Zimmer, Founder and Board President of Zosseo Overland Support (ZOS), traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa to secure a durable all-terrain vehicle. The vehicle—rather, "the rig"—is a 2015 Iveco Eurotransport 140E24 capable of handling the roughest terrain in East Africa. Using this rugged rig as our mobile clinic this year, ZOS will lead medical professionals and other volunteers into the least accessible regions of Kenya, where oral health care professionals are practically nonexistent.
Using the new rig, ZOS will deliver treatment and preventative oral care for the Kenyan communities while identifying people in pain or discomfort. Specifically, our clinics will include preventative dental care, common pediatric oral care, dental health screenings, extractions and other forms of support.
Put simply, oral health care in Kenya is scarce. The country faces an extreme shortage of dentists, with only roughly 1,000 dentists serving a population of over 46 million. For Kenyans living in poverty, traveling far distances and paying for oral care are simply unfeasible options. With 80% of dentists located in urban areas, the majority of our Kenyan patients have never seen a dentist. The lack of oral health professionals is also problematic throughout most of Africa. According to the World Health Organization, in Africa the dentist-to-population ratio is estimated at 1:150,000, compared to 1:1,650 in the United States.
Our solution? Bring dental and other medical professionals to those hard-to-reach and underserved communities using dependable transportation.
The rig is a self-sufficient container for medical supplies, a transporter of health care professionals and lodging for energetic volunteers—all on (big) wheels. The roof is equipped with 350W solar panels to charge essential medical supplies and a water purifier system that holds over 130 gallons of water. Inside you'll find a shower, sinks, an oven, a microwave and everything necessary to remain on the road for extended periods of time. On unpaved and sandy roads, where vehicles typically get stuck, the rig is equipped to escape using a built-in hydraulic system.
Next on our list: Ship the the rig from Durban, South Africa to Mombasa, Kenya. We're very excited to be back in Kenya soon and will be posting updates along the way, so be sure to check back and learn how you can get involved!