Dental Mission July 2012


Having sponsors that wanted to help the poor population on outlying islands, we prepared for the dental mission to be yet another “island hopping” adventure. Traveling so far with all the equipment and a large team of volunteers takes a lot of planning, and there were several steps to getting there.

At our center in Happy Valley, Flemming, Gabe and Mars worked for several days testing all the equipment to make sure it was in good running condition, packing it down, shopping for medicines and materials and also borrowing beach chairs from a KADVO, a Japanese Foundation, to supplement our own dental chairs.

After packing the 2 vans, they sailed from Cebu at 6am Sunday morning to be able to get to the Dawahon Island to set up the clinic so that when the rest of the dental team and volunteers would arrive Monday morning, the clinic would be all ready and the dentists could start immediately giving treatment.

All the equipment was transported to the islands by banka-boat. Danny and Mars were part of the “movers”.

Dawahon Island is part of a whole string of islands on the Dawahon reef, in the straight between Bohol and Leyte Islands in the Central Visayas. These people are fishermen and seaweed farmers. The population of Dawahon Island is almost 5000 people, with a large population of children. We talked with the midwife, and she said that generally 10-11 babies are born there every month. Supplying seaweed to big corporations that process it into food additives is their main livelihood as the seas around the islands are shallow and perfect for growing seaweeds.

This is one of the seaweed farmers getting ready to dive in for work.

Dr. Rachel had recently broken her right arm, so couldn’t work on treating patients, but she faithfully did the examination of the patients every day. Here together with Dr. Sabah. They have been partaking of the dental mission several times before, so they immediately fell into the rhythm of the mission.

We set up the clinic in a church, and here Danny, who is a newly certified nurse, joined us from Manila, works on putting the sterilized equipment back into the trays.

Dr. Kasper is one of the dentists who have been part of the Dental Mission in previous years, and were happy to be part of the mission again, helping to relive the patients of their pain.

Dawahon Island had never before had a dental or medical mission, so we were received with open arms. The kids loved to get their photos taken. Here with Elisabet, Dr. Alex and Nicola.

Many children had 4, 5 or 6 teeth removed as their teeth were beyond repair. It was hard to imagine how much toothache these children had suffered.

We have many things to share with you, but we are now off to another venue in Tabogon on the North East side of Cebu Island. We will be treating the poor inhabitants of the area throughout the week. Our last day of treatment is Friday July 20th. Stay tuned for more news from sunny Cebu!






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