Following steps were involved in development of this initiative:
1. Situation Analysis: During the latter half of the academic year 2005-2006. A detailed analysis of the existing situation was carried out. Existing problems were listed out along with the solutions. Prevalence of Dental Caries was referred from the oral health survey conducted on the school children during 2004. In short, SOHP needed to improve coverage of the children with prevention in order to control tooth decay.
2. Decision Making: After the situation analysis, a case was presented to Assistant Undersecretary, Dental Affairs and Oral Health Superintendent at MOH regarding the existing situation. They were made fully aware of the problems faced and something needs to be done soon. A decision was made to utilize portable dental units to cover schools without clinics with prevention. This way SOHP would be able to increase the number of children receiving primary prevention and hence control tooth decay. Since, these services were being planned to be carried out within the school it would have so many other benefits associated with it. At the same time this method was cost-effective compared to setting up a clinic within a school, this was a big plus when it came to final decision making. Final decision was made to go for a phase-wise expansion with these portable units every year.
3. Procuring the Equipments and Materials: During 2006-2007, 10 Portable dental units from Aseptico, USA were ordered and the local dealer was kind enough to provide us one unit free. Hence, SOHP had 11 units in the first year. Also, required type and quantity of materials were ordered and procured through our central purchasing department.
4. Prevention Policy: During 2006-2007 our existing policy for prevention was revised. Detailed section was dedicated to functioning of prevention mobile teams using these portable units. Details included on types of units, method of functioning within the schools, administrative issues and job descriptions of the personnel working in these mobile teams.
5. Staff Training: The selected staffs were trained in the operation and minor maintenance of these portable units by the technical personnel belonging to the maintenance team. Clinical training was provided by our training department.
6. Identification of Schools: Schools without existing dental clinics were identified and a plan was prepared to cover at least a part of them during 2006-2007.
7. Permission from Ministry of Education: Once the schools were identified the required permission from MOE was obtained to operate within the school premises.
8. Installation of the equipments: Once the school and the space were identified the maintenance technicians would transport the equipments to the schools and set up the equipments there and run a test when ready. Then the skilled personnel would move in with the required materials and perform prevention on school children.
9. Program Evaluation: This initiative was evaluated in terms of the process performed and the outcomes were measured qualitatively and quantitatively on regular basis as explained under previous question.