In Uganda, just 200 dentists serve a population of 38 million. Just 200 dentists serve a population of 38 million. None of them does it better than Kampala native Dr. Esther Lukwago.

Dr. Esther Lukwago. 41, lives in Kampala, Uganda, treating some 6,800 patients annually other K.H. Dental clinics.

“I had a sweet tooth as a child. I developed cavities and had the opportunity, when I was 10 to visit one of the few dentists in Kampala. I walked into the practice with pain, and walked out without it. The dental clinic seemed near-magical to me. and I knew then what I wanted to do as an adult. I knew I’d literally have to top my class if I were to have a chance at admission to dental school. The secondary school I attended was the top girls’ school in the country, so mine was not exactly a pipe dream. But it still took incredible focus and determination to get in. After a one-year internship at the country’s referral hospitals, I got a part-time position with one of the pioneer dentists – the same one who had treated me all those years ago. I soon applied for a master’s at the University of London, pursuing a course in dental public health.”

Dental lifestyle magazine Incisal Edge recently interviewed Dr. Lukwago and she shared the inspiring story of how as a female dentist she was able to be taken seriously by health insurance company executives and set up a small clinic inside a private hospital which today treats more than 150 people weekly. She also developed her own practice management software, JINO (Swahili for “tooth”).

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