Health Outreach

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Guatemala 2007

Twenty five team members formed “Guatemala 2007” from January 20th to February 4th 2007.  They traveled to Santa Rosa Province in western Guatemala to provide everything from preventative care to endodontics to children with very little access to dental of health care in general.  Six communities were serviced by this project at two field sites in the communities of El Hawaii and El Rosario. Over 400 children were seen by general dentists and specialist.  

The staff were all volunteers.  There were eight dentists, two senior dental students, one hygienist, two senior hygiene students, five dental assistants, two translator/managers, three translators, two data entry persons, sterilization and radiology technicians, and a three technical staff.  Community representatives included a sterilization assistant at times, and administrative support personnel. The Country Director for Health Outreach was present for the two weeks.   

The population of these communities and the surrounding rural areas is 5751 people.  4X4 vehicles were required so get to some of the communities because of poor road conditions.   

Dental services were provided in a school and in a medical clinic.  A functional dental office was set up in two hours using generators , compressors, sterilizers and portable ADEC dental units. All sundries and small instruments were donated by local dentists and dental supply companies. 

Patients were prioritized in the following order:

1. Children in pain and/or who have infection

2. Children with urgent needs (discomfort or likelihood of pain or infection)

3. Adults having pain or infection 

Oral examination, radiology, endodontics, oral surgery (extraction) , restorative and individual dental health education were all offered.  No fees were collected for all services. 

“Guatemala 2007” was not only successful providing urgent care, but offered preventative services in the form of prophylactic appointments and sealants.  For the first time, a hygiene team was organized consisting of a hygienist, dental hygiene students and Guatemalan dental students.  Overall, over 400 children were seen by over a two week period. 

Dr. Timothy Lee, Team Leader “Guatemala 2007” 

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