1. Outline of the Project
1.1 Background of the Project
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka filled an official request in 1997 to the Government of Japan for achieving optimum standard of factions of the Faculty of Dental Sciences and the Dental Hospital (Teaching) in Peradeniya, which were established under Japanese Grant Aid Project during the period of 1996 – 1998. Under the Grant Aid Project, the Faculty of Dental Sciences was upgraded and the project involved the construction of entirely new physical facilities and the provision of modern equipment for student teaching, patient care and research.
Following the completion of the Grant Aid Project, the need for Project type Technical Cooperation Assistance arose to train staff members, academic and non-academic for proper utilization of the physical facilities made available under the Grant Aid Project.
1.2 Project Overview
The JICA Dental Education Project (1998 – 2003) at the Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya was aimed at the improvement of the health status of Sri Lankan people through the provision of technical training in education, services and research in the field of dental sciences.
(1) Overall Goal
To improve teaching, service and research in the Dental Faculty and Dental Hospital (Teaching) Peradeniya in order to promote oral health status of the people in Sri Lanka.
(2) Project Purpose
To strengthen the function and the capacity of the staff at the Dental Faculty and Dental Hospital (Teaching) Peradeniya.
2.1 To improve knowledge and skills of academic, technical and nursing staff.
2.2 To develop the capacity to conduct research and continuing education programs for dental health personal.
2.3 To develop a system to ensure sound maintenance of physical facilities, equipment and instruments of the Dental Faculty and the Dental Hospital.
(4) Inputs (July 2002)
Sri Lankan Organization :
2. Evaluation Team
3. Results of Evaluation
3.1 Summary of Evaluation Results
a) Achievement of Overall Goal
- Improvements in Undergraduate Teaching
- Improvements in Patient Care
- Improvements in Research
b) Other Positive Effects
c) Negative Effects
- Dean's Office staff under the Dean of the Faculty of Dental Sciences has been trained to monitor the progress in Dental Education via coordinators of programs and the Heads of the Departments. This enabled smooth functioning of the academic programmes conducted by the Faculty of Dental Sciences.
- Trained personnel trained others, helping further upgrading of technical and nursing assistance and continuation of activities.
- Increased allocation as emoluments to academic and non-academic staff continued enabling retention of staff as much as possible.
- Self-funded courses continued to be conducted without burdening the dental faculty.
b) Patient Care
- These services were run with financial inputs in the form of material, equipment and manpower from the Ministry of Health. Critically ill and deformed patients continued to be cared under the guidance of Dental Specialists. Dental appliances were provided to the needy after charging a nominal fee. This practice enabled students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, to become aware and proficient in modern methods of dental treatment, which otherwise wouldn't have been possible.
- Patients were able to get special investigations done after paying a nominal fee approved by the University Council. These investigations are of special nature and are not available in other hospitals.
c) Maintenance of Equipment
- Funds available for their maintenance is meagre and is inadequate for repair work. Some equipment will soon be beyond repair and this means they will need to be replaced. But the cost of replacement will be many times more expensive than having them repaired at the due time. Funding will have to be found if Dental Education is to progress as intended.
- Not all the manuals necessary for their repair are available.
3-2. Factors that have Promoted Project
In order to carry out dental service functions in spite of poor budgetary allocation, the Dental Faculty recommended charging a small fee for the services rendered. This met with strong opposition from the government trade unions. Fortunately, the University Council upheld the recommendation of the Dental Faculty and game covering approval to go ahead with its proposal. This to a certain extent made it possible to sustain the quality of teaching – service functions in the Dental Hospital.
3-3 Factors that have Inhibited Project
Important factors are insufficient funds for maintenance of equipment and lack of trained staff for repair. In addition, untrained nurses in the category of nurses in the Dental Faculty is a stumbling block in quality care of patients seeking treatment. This has made the Faculty more dependent on the Health Ministry.
There is a significant improvement in dental education in the University of Peradeniya resulting from changes in curricula, instructional methods, introduction of new techniques, improved clinical training and supervision. Government funding available as staff emoluments increased by 70% in the last five years helping to retain most of the staff trained.
In the short term immediate action should be taken to fund maintenance and repair work.
3-6. Lessons Learned
At the time agreement was signed between the Governments of Japan and Sri Lanka, a clause should have been added that makes it mandatory for Sri Lankan Government to allocate certain percentage of the value of the equipment donated as annual maintenance expenditure for a period not less than 10 years.