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More About OHASA

Why OHASA Exists

For 45 years, the Oral Hygienists Association of South Africa has been a beacon of dedication to oral health in our nation.

Established in 1978, OHASA has unwaveringly championed the interests of oral hygienists and the broader community. We are more than just professionals; we are a united community devoted to the prevention of disease and the upliftment of public health.

Our commitment is reflected in our daily actions, behaviours and attitudes, all rooted in our founding code of ethics. This code not only guides our professional conduct but also serves as a promise to the public – a promise of integrity, excellence and unwavering care.

We believe in the intrinsic worth of every individual and their right to optimal oral health. Our journey over the past 45 years has been about more than just oral care; it's been about trust, community, and a shared vision for a healthier South Africa.

As we look to the future, we remain steadfast in our mission: ensuring that every individual has access to the highest quality of oral healthcare.

Join us as we continue to make a difference, one smile at a time.

The Evolution of OHASA: A Timeline of Achievements


A significant milestone as South Africa witnesses the qualification of its first hygienists.


The inception of the Oral Hygienists Association of South Africa (OHASA). Founded with the primary objective of representing, protecting and championing the interests of its members and the broader oral hygiene profession in South Africa. The pioneering executive committee comprised:

  • President: IV Pretorius
  • Secretary: R Taylor
  • Treasurer: I de Villiers

OHASA gains official recognition, registering with the South African Medical and Dental Council in April.


A landmark year as the Professional Board for Oral Hygiene is established in October, thanks to OHASA's relentless efforts and support. This initiative was under the auspices of the Minister of Health, Welfare and Pensions, Dr LAPA Munnik, as per the Medical, Dental and Supplementary Health Service Professions Act of 1974.


OHASA's efforts are internationally acknowledged. The International Liaison Committee on Dental Hygiene recognizes OHASA as the official representative body for oral hygienists in South Africa.


The realm of oral hygiene in South Africa evolves. The first individual earns a degreein oral hygiene. This year also witnesses an expansion in oral hygienists’ scope, empowering them with additional responsibilities. To equip themselves with these new skills, hygienists return to universities for further training.


A year of significant advances:

  • South Africa hosts the 19th International Symposium of Dental Hygiene.
  • The concept of independent practice for oral hygienists receives official approval.
  • The scope of practice for oral hygienists grows once again, marking the second expansion of their professional capabilities.

Our Footprint

With more than 400 members, thriving chapters in the Western Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal and other hygienists across South Africa, OHASA is the only recognised oral hygiene association in the country.

Our Exco

Anri Bernardo (B.OH, UWC)


Anri Bernardo (B.OH, UWC) earned her oral hygiene degree from the University of the Western Cape in 2011, followed by an expanded function course in 2014. With an initial three-year tenure in private practice, Anri transitioned to mentoring undergraduate students at UWC. In 2015, she dedicated herself to public health, joining the Western Cape Department of Health as an oral hygienist. Passionate about preventing oral diseases and promoting community oral health, Anri has been an active member of OHASA’s Western Cape branch since 2015. She has held roles from the CPD committee to chairperson and secretary of OHASA’s national executive. In 2022, she was the association’s president.
Cole Gilbert B.OH (UWC)
Cole Gilbert B.OH (UWC) is a distinguished oral hygienist who earned his degree from the University of the Western Cape in 2011. Further enhancing his credentials, he completed expanded oral hygiene functions in 2013 and is recognised as an independent practitioner. With a fervour for education, Cole serves as a clinical instructor and lecturer at UWC’s Department of Oral Hygiene. He has a deep interest in periodontal health and tooth whitening.
Shaya Pillay B.OH (UDW)
Shaya Pillay B.OH (UDW) 1990 IPP is a seasoned oral hygienist, having earned her degree from the University of Durban Westville in 1990. After completing her expanded functions, she has consistently practised with a focus on family care, paediatric prevention and tooth whitening. Shaya has been an integral member of the Eastern Cape OHASA committee since 2004, holding roles such as treasurer and chairperson.
Robin Cottrell Dip.OH (UP)
Robin Cottrell earned her Dip OH from the University of Pretoria in 1984 and has since showcased her expertise in periodontal and general practices. She furthered her qualifications with expanded functions from the University of Western Cape in 2013. Robin has been an active member of the OHASA Gauteng branch committee since 2018, and is currently its secretary.
Elaine Johnson Dip.OH (EDH)
International Federation of Dental Hygienists representative

Elaine Johnson is a registered oral hygienist (ROH) with her foundational education from Bristol, UK (EDH). She further enhanced her qualifications with a one-year bridging course at the University of KZN, leading to her ROH designation, and has completed expanded functions. Elaine has held numerous roles within OHASA committees over the years and has a private practice in Durban.

Stella Lamprecht Dip.OH
Immediate past president
Stella Lamprecht completed her Diploma in Oral Hygiene at the University of Pretoria in 1979 and further honed her skills with expanded functions from the University of Pretoria and the University of Western Cape. Beginning her career with the South African Defence Force, she later established her own independent practice in 2014. Stella’s dedication to the oral hygiene profession is evident through her extensive involvement with OHASA. She was the Gauteng branch chairperson from 2009-2014 and OHASA president from 2012-2021. Stella has represented OHASA at various national and international forums, contributed to the OHASA Journal, and played a pivotal role in the organisation’s website and seminar lectures.

OHASA’s Mission

Amid the growing challenges of oral health disparities and limited awareness in South Africa, OHASA is dedicated to championing the interests of oral hygienists and the broader community. Through education, advocacy and community engagement, we strive to prevent oral diseases, uplift public health and ensure every individual has access to optimal oral healthcare, fostering a nation where smiles reflect true wellbeing.

OHASA’s Vision

In a future shaped by OHASA's relentless efforts, South Africa will stand as a beacon of oral health excellence, where every individual, regardless of background, enjoys optimal oral wellbeing. Communities will be empowered with knowledge, oral diseases will be a rarity, and the nation's smiles will radiate the true essence of holistic health and unity.

Our Values

We respect the confidentiality of patient information and relationships as a demonstration of the value we place on individual autonomy. We acknowledge our obligation to justify any violation of confidence.
Societal Trust
We value patient trust and understand that public trust in our profession is based on our actions and behaviour.
We accept our fundamental obligation to provide services in a manner that protects all patients and minimises harm to them and others involved in their treatment.
We have a primary role in promoting the wellbeing of individuals and the public by engaging in health promotion/disease prevention activities.
Justice and Fairness
We value justice and support the fair and equitable distribution of healthcare resources. We believe all people should have access to high-quality, affordable oral healthcare.
We accept our obligation to tell the truth and assume that others will do the same, and seek truth and honesty in all relationships.

A Message from The President

Dear OHASA Members and Community,

As we mark over four decades of unwavering commitment to oral health, I am filled with gratitude and pride. Our journey at OHASA has always been about more than just oral care; it's about trust, community, and a shared vision for a healthier South Africa. Together, we’ve championed the interests of oral hygienists and the communities we serve. As your president, I am dedicated to continuing this legacy, ensuring everyone can access the best oral healthcare. Let's keep making a difference, one smile at a time.

Warm regards,
Anri Bernardo

OHASA is a proud affiliate of the International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH) &
the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)
We’re proud to be working with some of the country’s best oral care brands