College of William & Mary Global Medical Brigades Goes to Honduras

by Maren Leibowitz on March 26th, 2015 at 2:33 pm
From March 8 to March 14, 33 students from the College of William & Mary were accompanied by two doctors and an oral surgeon for a medical brigade in rural Honduras. Over our three clinic days, we were able to treat over 720 patients in the community of Mata de Plátano, Morocelí.  Mata de Plátano is a small village in the mountains of central Honduras.  The road really can’t be considered a road; it’s more of a dirt and rock path.  There were multiple times during the week when our bus couldn’t make it up a hill and we had to hike for a bit.
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Our clinic wasn’t a normal clinic, either.  We set up every day in the village school – each classroom was a station.  The ailments we treated ranged from the common cold to untreated diabetes or hypertension to needing multiple teeth extracted. Most of the time, though, these people were just trying to get medicines like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for joint and muscle pain that they could use now or in a couple months. We also had a gynecologist on our team who provided check-ups and Pap smears to women who opted to see her.  The dental station included fillings as well as extractions.  Our entire team was busy the entire day helping take care of our patients and also running the children’s health education program.  Whenever I needed a little break, I would go over to the children’s charla and help them learn about brushing teeth, eating healthy, and washing their hands.  It is really incredible how happy these kids are to receive something as mundane to us as a toothbrush, and how excited they were to receive fluoride treatments.
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One of the parts of this trip that differed from others is the amount of time we were able to interact with different communities.  We visited two different communities, Buena Vista and Tomatin, at the beginning and end of our week.  Buena Vista is farther along Global Brigades’ Holisitic Model and is currently in the process of completing public health projects in multiple houses in the community.  Tomatin has just started with Global Brigades and is working on building up their community bank.  The idea of microfinance was completely novel to me, but after visiting Tomatin I am firm believer that community banks are an incredible resource for these rural, poor communities.  After capitalizing their bank (which only took 550 USD), the board of the bank in Tomatin was able to give out loans to its community members to help them grow beans and corn and begin to make a living.  The community bank has also enabled them to keep an emergency fund that can be used to get a sick neighbor to the hospital, or extend a loan to a suffering family.  These were people who had so little yet were working so hard to improve the lives of themselves and their neighbors.  It was humbling in the best way.
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Honduras is a beautiful country with even more beautiful people, inside and out.   It was an incredible opportunity to work with and interact with the people of Mata de Plátano to help improve their health.

Nicaragua Health Delegation Trip

Link Recommended by Katrina Svoboda on March 17th, 2015 at 11:15 pm

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My trip to Leon, Nicaragua was incredible. With my university I went down about a week and a half ago as a health delegate to promote the importance of oral health and the consequences of poor oral hygiene. Being a surgical assistant for an oral surgeon for a few years now, this topic really resonated with me and I wanted to bring my knowledge from that experience with the science behind it to the next level in my travels. I presented my poster at a wellness fair where goodie bags of dental supplies were distributed to families in need. For the following four days I taught at schools around the Leon area. At one school in particular, an orphanage named Jacinta, I donated the remainder of my dental supplies to my class at the end. I taught the children how to floss, which I believe they have never done before before that point. The smiles on their faces being given the supplies I will never forget. The Henry Schein Cares Foundation was able to make my project come to life, specifically after my teaching in Jacinta. I cannot thank them enough for their participation in my project and for the help that they gave to this beautiful community.

 

NICARAGUA DENTAL MISSION 2015

by Sharon Gorman on March 17th, 2015 at 12:27 am

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This photo shows this year’s Dental Team of American and Nicaraguan Dental Professionals who worked together to treat 273 patients during 4 days of clinic near Esteli, Nicaragua. Many Thanks to the Henry Schein Cares Foundation for helping supply some of our very necessary dental supplies! Each year we have been able to do more for the folks in Nicaragua, thanks to the generosity of organizations and individuals like you.

Sharon Gorman, RDH – VA

Developing Smiles oral care education project, Elandshoek South Africa

by Ljiljana Nortje on March 12th, 2015 at 9:11 pm

On January 7th and 8th 2015,Ana Nortje RDH, Director of Developing Smiles lead a team that distributed tooth brushes and toothpaste to elementary school age children in a rural community of Elandshoek, South Africa. This was the first project for Developing Smiles The Woodlands, Texas based nonprofit organization, who’s mission is to teach elementary school age children in rural Southern Africa importance of oral health and proper nutrition to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

 

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With the generous donations and contributions from parents in Sterling Ridge Primrose School, the Henry Schein Foundation, and many individuals the project benefited 210 children and their families.

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Access to toothbrush and toothpaste are essential elements for healthy body, elements often overlooked in nations in which these needs are readily met. In Elandshoek these items are considered luxury as many families are not able to afford them. Although children were very excited to learn about care for their teeth and receive a new toothbrush, we believe that the most impact we had is with parents. We spend great deal of time speaking with parents about the impact of parental beliefs and attitude about tooth brushing and sugar snacking on their children’s oral health.

Developing Smiles will strive to assist under-served communities in rural Africa and make proper oral health and nutrition a priority for both children and their parents. Learning how to care for you teeth and having the tools to do it will reduce the incidence of cavities and pain associated with cavities. It is expected that these programs will contribute to an improvement in students overall health allowing them to focus on their education.

Dentistry from the Heart 2015-Sky Canyon Dental, Murrieta, Ca

by Lien Ly on March 9th, 2015 at 6:03 pm

On February 27, 2015, we at Sky Canyon Dental in Murrieta, Ca provided free dentistry to the uninsured and persons of low income of our community.  We were able to treat around 35 patients who choose between a cleaning, a full mouth debridement, a filling or an extraction.  We had 3 doctors, 2 assistants, 2 hygienists and approximately 15 volunteers help us on this day.photo 4 (2) photo 3 photo 3 (2) photo 1 (3) photo 5

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