As many of you know, Christine dedicates time each year to do two Outreach Dental trips with her Semiahmoo Dental Outreach team. This past June, 18 members traveled with their equipment and sundries through Lima to the Peruvian Amazon. The team consisted of 7 dentists, 3 dental hygienists, 2 dental assistants, 1 nurse and 5 non-dental members who were trained in sterilization and maintenance of the dental equipment.
The area the group travelled to was only accessible by boat or plane. The team set up and worked in two separate dental outreach clinics. The first clinic was in the outskirts of Iquitos, where a derelict medical facility was offered to operate out of. Team members spent 3-4 days cleaning and preparing the building to make it suitable to work in. With the help of local volunteers, as translators, crowd organizers, and general go getters, the clinic operated successfully to treat adults and children who required dental care. Dental treatments provided included emergency care, dental fillings, root canals, and extractions. As well, preventive treatment was offered, which included dental hygiene care, fissure sealants, fluoride varnish applications, and oral health education.
The second clinic was in a more remote village in a tributary of the amazon and was thus, far more basic. Without power or running water, extractions were the only dental treatment provided. Preventive treatment included fluoride varnish application and oral health education.
Although the monetary success of the clinics is calculated to be over $100,000 in clinical work, the true success in the field was measured by the many grateful handshakes, unexpected hugs, and big smiles from patients and their family members.
To learn more about the Semiahmoo Outreach Team, visit their website: http://semiahmoodentaloutreach.org/.
We are immensely proud of Christine and the Semiahmoo Outreach Team.