PHASE ONE OF OUR 2 WEEKS DENTAL EXPEDITION
The days before the dental mission started were hectic. Since this dental mission were to take place on far away islands in the Visayas region in the central Philippines, we had to make sure that there would be enough of medicines and materials, and that all the equipment was working. Flemming and Gabriel checked everything and the day before the day the clinic was to be set up, we had a truck come and pick up everything, because the team had to leave at 5am the next morning because the banka boat had to be on the island while it still was high tide. Why? Because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to sail in to the shore.
LOADING THE BANKA BOAT. For years now, NITOS in Cebu has given us a truck to use whenever we needed it for the dental mission, and again this year they helped. It is greatly appreciated! The boat is sponsored by Eric van den Arend from Holland and LETS-SHARE.TV Foundation. This boat will be with us on the whole trip.
We have gotten lots of experience in holding dental mission (since 2002), so everything is there from dish soap to wash the instruments to the compressor which runs the equipment. If we were to mention everything, the list would be very, very long.
Caubian Island with a population between 2800-3000 people. Their sole livelihood is fishing.
Everything was loaded off the banka boat on to the beach.
Caubian has about 250 high-school students. Many of them helped to carry the boxes and dental chairs to the school building where we set up the free clinic.
After breakfast at 6am we were ready to leave at 7 from Talima Resort in Olango Island while there still was high tide.
It's good the boatsmen were holding a bamboo as a railing as we were balancing on a board to get onto the boat. Marie did just fine. In the distance you can see the island of Cebu, with the island of Mactan with several beach resorts across the strait.
Dr. Arno, Marie, Macki the Captain, Gabriel and Flemming - Rise Above together with LETS-SHARE.TV - on our way out to Caubian Island.
Dr. Annagrete Mikkelsen and Dr. Dan Besjakov getting to know each other.
Since the boat trip took 1 1/2 hour, there was also time to rest. Most had arrived the day before, so there had been no time to get adjusted to the time difference.
Flemming and Dan were the first to be welcomed by Dr. Romulo Uy, the Department of Education dentist from Lapulapu.
Marie, Katja, Hanne, Marie Louise, Frederik, Liselotte, Christian, Camilla, Dan, Annegrete, Arno, Sarah, Elisabet, Gabriel, Flemming and Annie.
Before the dentists were able to start, Flemming gave an orientation about the treatment we can offer, materials and medicines available and how to instruct their local assistants which were high school students who could speak English.
Gabriel, our technician, made sure the equipment was ready.
The principal was very accomodating and did whatever she could to help. The high-school students assisted and helped with the sterilization of the instruments. Gabriel trained one of them as a technician.
The first patients are receiving treatment, while Flemming is observing.
Dr. Arno assisted by his wife, Annie and a high school student.
Sakit means pain - and many had toothache!
It was easier for the dentist to do extractions when the children sat on a stack of chairs.
Marie Louise with a little patient.
Dr. Annagrete being assisted by Liselotte and a highschool student.
Frederik is a dental student, and here Dr. Arno is giving him hands on training extracting a tough molar.
Many like Jo-Anne came in with their front teeth damaged.
And in a provisional clinic in a class room on a small island in the Philippines, Jo-Anne is receiving the best treatment possible...
...under the steady hands of Dr. Christian.
Amazing workmanship with the limited selection of materials.
The result - a very happy and satisfied Jo-Anne - here with her dentist Dr. Christian and his assistant. What a beautiful smile!
Nine police officers joined us from Lapulapu, since Caubian is under their jurisdiction. They helped by assisting the dentists...
...and gave us police protection. Did we feel safe? We sure did!
Dr. Camilla assisted by one of the police women.
The whole time we were in Caubian Island, Gabriel taught the boy about how to run the machines and how to repair them. When we were about to leave, the boy told Gabe that he wanted to become a technician.
Jun, the assistant of Dr. Uy from the department of education, taught these two high school girls how to clean the instruments, and they faithfully stuck by their job the whole time - and ended getting free treatment.
The police traveled together with us back to Olango Island...
Not only did the police assist us in our dental mission, but upon returning to Olango Island, as many of our team as could fit in the police van was driven back to our resort. What a service! Thank you for your assistance!
We were able to treat more than 200 patients on Caubian Island, in less than 3 days.
Now I wonder: “How much does a tooth fairy pay per tooth?” We would probably have a small amount of treasure after each one of our dental missions. But, tooth fairies are hard to find. Seeing many sparkling smiles is a better fortune for us. We are content when people have fewer cavities, because they can keep their teeth much longer.
People who smile habitually are more likely to have successful lifestyles than people who frown. So let’s make it a habit to have bright and happy smiles! There will be more news from the Islands of Leyte and Cabilao to come.
Tags: Danish dentists, Dental health, Dental Mission, Free Dental Clinic, Oral Care, Oral Hygiene, Volunteer dentists