Qamile Jaka: The First Albanian Dentist in Kosovo, Who Laid the Foundations of the Department of Dentistry at UP

“If we fail to make future generations more knowledgeable and capable than ourselves, then we have failed.”

Dr. Qamile Jaka, the first Albanian dentist in Kosovo, worked tirelessly to bring this statement of hers to life.

She became a source of inspiration and determination for new generations of dentists in Kosovo. While in her childhood and youth, education was a challenge in itself, Qamile Jaka, a girl born in Tropoja, attended primary and secondary school in Gjakova.

She entered the history of Kosovo by becoming the first Albanian dentist to return to her homeland after completing her studies at the University of Belgrade. In the 60s, when she finished her studies, Kosovo had no dentists.

The first Albanian dentist in Kosovo was Xhevat Rizvanolli, and the first Albanian dentist in Kosovo is Dr. Qamile Jaka, who made an important contribution. In addition to practicing the profession, she also developed dentistry, emphasizing its value among the people and enabling the youth of that time to be determined for this profession,” said Dr. Hasan Mehmeti, in an interview with a Kosovar media outlet, while discussing the beginnings of dentistry in Kosovo.

Together with colleagues who had just completed dentistry in the universities of the former Yugoslavia, Qamile Jaka laid the foundations of the Department of Dentistry. At the same time, she made significant efforts to raise awareness among the population about the importance of dental health.

Qamile Jaka specialized in the field of “orthopedic jaws” and completed her postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Belgrade, where she defended her master’s degree. She defended her doctoral thesis in 1986 at the University of Pristina.

Since 1980, she worked in the Department of Dentistry at the Faculty of Medicine, initially as an assistant, and later as a professor teaching the subject ‘Orthopedics of the Jaws.’ Throughout her tenure, she actively participated in various roles, serving as a delegate of the Central Council of Workers at the Faculty of Medicine, a member of the Secretariat of the Association of Dentists, and a member of the Commission for Health Activities and Specializations at the Faculty of Medicine.

Later, in 1991, she was dismissed by the then Serbian regime. She is the author and co-author of over 70 professional scientific papers presented at congresses and symposia and published in professional scientific journals. Posthumously, she was honored with the ‘Honor of Kosovar Dentistry’ decoration by the Chamber of Dentists of Kosovo.

This decoration is awarded to dentists who honor the dental community, both domestically and internationally, through their achievements and reputation. It is bestowed upon individuals with outstanding and high-quality contributions to the field of dentistry, with a demonstrated commitment to future excellence. Recipients are recognized for their notable professional and scientific activities, both within and, notably, outside the territory of the Republic of Kosovo. The award is reserved for those who have made exceptional contributions and demonstrated special merits in the field of dentistry. Qamile Jaka was born in 1948 in Tropoja and passed away in 2007.