Kügler: „Besonders beeindruckend war für mich, die Dankbarkeit und Freude der bescheidenen Menschen zu erleben und die Fähigkeit, Schmerzen ertragen zu können. Es war für mich eine völlig neue Erfahrung, mitten im Dschungel, weitab jeglicher Zivilisation mit einfachsten technischen Mitteln, zahnärztliche Hilfe leisten zu dürfen. Einige Chirurgietechniken der mir assistierenden einheimischen Ärzte waren selbst für mich neu“, so Kügler.
Denkwürdiger Höhepunkt war am vierten Tag der Besuch im Gefängnis von Barretto. Insassen waren weibliche und männliche Strafgefangene, natürlich streng voneinander getrennt. Ein Rundgang durch diese Zellen vermittelt dem Besucher einen bedrückenden - ja dramatischen Eindruck: Auf kleinstem Raum drängen sich je 15 Gefangene unter unvorstellbaren Temperaturen. Die hygienischen Verhältnisse sind unbeschreiblich, ein möglicher Vergleich zu deutschen Haftanstalten lässt diese wie Hotels der Luxusklasse erscheinen. Kügler: „Es war für mich der bedrückendste Einsatz in meiner zahnärztlichen Tätigkeit!“
Damit Heinrich Treutner auch in Zukunft seine Hilfsprojekte auf den Philippinen erfolgreich betreuen kann, ist er auf Unterstützung angewiesen. Wer spenden möchte, kann dies tun unter: Lotushilfe, Konto-Nr. 46 772 300, Volksbank Mittelhessen, BLZ 513 900 00. Infos unter www.lotushilfe.com.
Heinrich Treutner, der Vorsitzende der gemeinnützigen „Lotus Hilfsprogramme e. V.“ betreut seit Jahren soziale Hilfsprojekte auf den Philippinen. Dazu zählen „Wasserbüffel für Ureinwohner“, „Medizinische Hilfen für herz- und krebskranke Kinder“, „Patenschaften für gehörlose Kinder“, „Gründung eines Sprachzentrums für Kinder mit Gaumenfehlbildungen“ oder „Hilfe auf Smokey-Mountain“, der größten Müllkippe Manilas.
Treutner ist zurzeit wieder auf den Philippinen unterwegs. Dieses Mal begleitet ihn Dr. Dieter Kügler, ein Zahnarzt aus München. Kügler ist der Onkel der mehrmaligen Bestseller-Autorin Sabine Kügler, die ihre Kindheit im indonesischen Dschungel von Papua-Neu-Guinea verbracht hatte und mit ihrem Roman „Das Dschungelkind“ mehrere Wochen die Hitliste der Belletristik anführte.
Dieter Kügler ist neben Dr. Karl Ampt, dem mehrjährigen Partner von Treutner, der zweite Zahnarzt, der regelmäßig Dentalmissionen im Projektbereich von „Lotus“ auf der Insel Luzon durchführt. Sein Einsatz sollte dieses Mal zu einer besonderen Herausforderung werden, denn seit Anfang August regnet es dort in Strömen. Sintflutartige Wolkenbrüche und schwere Unwetter, als Taifune bekannt, machten den Trip in die Berge zum unkalkulierbaren Abenteuer und Risiko.
Gleich am ersten Tag führte das Team um Dr. Kügler in die unwegsamen Berge des philippinischen Dschungels. Vor Jahren hatte dort der Ausbruch des Vulkans Pinatubo weltweit für Aufsehen gesorgt, waren dabei doch Tausende Menschen - insbesondere der Urbevölkerung - zu Tode gekommen. Treutner hat den Ureinwohnern, die durch dieses Naturereignis ihrer Heimat beraubt worden waren, vor Jahren durch sein Wasserbüffelprojekt eine neue Lebensgrundlage geschaffen, können diese Familien doch seither ihren Boden wieder bewirtschaften und ihrer unsagbaren Armut entfliehen. Die Ankunft der „German Helper“ hatte sich wie ein Lauffeuer durch den Dschungel verbreitet. Kügler konnte an diesem Tag 68 Patienten chirurgisch versorgen.
Der neue Einsatz am Tag darauf fand auf Smokey Mountain auf der Insel Luzon statt. Hier leben etwa 180 Familien buchstäblich auf dem Müll und verdienen ihren spärlichen Lebensunterhalt mit dem Sammeln und Trennen diverser Abfälle. Für einen Europäer ist ein solches Leben unvorstellbar: Unerträglicher Schmutz, Lärm, Hitze und beißender Gestank prägen nach den Worten Treutners eine Umgebung, die vor allem für die Kinder einen Nährboden für Krankheiten bietet: Durchfall, Typhus, TBC sowie Hautekzeme sind die unausweichliche Folge. Erleichterung und Dankbarkeit waren zu spüren, als Dr. Kügler am Ende des Tages alle geduldig wartenden Patienten - es waren 72 - versorgt hatte.
Tag drei der zahnärztlichen Notversorgung fand in der Little Voices-Schule in Zambales statt, in der 160 Aeta-Kinder der philippinischen Ureinwohner täglich beschult und - das ist das Besondere - mit nährstoffreichen Mahlzeiten verköstigt werden. Die meisten der neu eingeschulten Kinder litten anfangs an extremer Unterernährung. Dank gezielter regelmäßiger ärztlicher Gewichtskontrollen gelangen die Kinder im Laufe der Schulzeit zu ihrem Normalgewicht. Kehren die Kinder jedoch nach den großen Ferien, die sie in den Hütten ihrer in Armut lebenden Eltern verbringen, wieder in die Schule zurück, beginnt der Kampf gegen die Unterernährung von Neuem. Treutner unterstützt dieses Ernährungsprojekt seit Jahren. Auch hier bildeten sich lange Warteschlangen
The BDJ News section accepts items that include general news, latest research and diary events that interest our readers. Press releases or articles may be edited, and should include a colour photograph if possible.
Please direct your correspondence to the News Editor, Arveen Bajaj at the BDJ, The Macmillan Building, 4 Crinan Street, London N1 9XW or by email to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Introduction The Afghan war against dental disease
A charity is looking for volunteers from the dental profession to provide services to Afghanistan, a country with almost 30 million people that have no basic dental care.
Since first visiting Afghanistan in 2003 with all the equipment he could carry strapped to his back, Dr James Rolfe has made the Kabul Dental Clinic and Training Center a reality and established the Afghanistan Dental Relief Project (ADRP).
Dr Rolfe, of Santa Barbara, California, created his dental clinic in some 40 foot shipping containers constructed of safe, solid steel with their own water supply, plumbing, storage, electrical systems, artwork, music and supplies. They also contain dental chairs, X-ray machines and a laboratory area.
The Afghan Dental Relief Project is an organisation established to provide dental treatment facilities in underserved areas of Afghanistan, to staff these facilities with volunteers, to train the Afghan people in dentistry and modern technology at no cost to the needy and to provide instruction in preventive dental care.
The volunteer centre opened in Kabul in January 2009, next door to the clinic, and has seven bedrooms and complete utilities designed to host many volunteers in complete comfort and security.
As well as calling for volunteers, the ADRP are hoping to raise funds for the shipping of a third container to expand the much-needed clinic.
Dentist Shaila Patel is looking for volunteer dentists to join her when she travels to the Thai/Burma border on 5 November 2010 to train local men and women in basic dental skills.
Shaila will be part of a small medical team from the UK which will also includes doctors, nurses and midwives and which is organised by charity HOPE 4 the World.
Burma is one of the poorest countries in the world after over 50 years of civil war, despite plentiful natural resources. Thousands have been killed by the military dictatorship and millions are displaced. There is continual environmental destruction, an HIV/AIDS epidemic, the ongoing laying of landmines, human trafficking and religious persecution.
The internally displaced people (IDPs) lack security, food, education for their children and have limited access to the most basic of medical care.
HOPE 4 the World buys all of the equipment for the trips but the travel costs are self-funded by volunteers. The charity also builds schools in Burma, provides maintenance grants and delivers teacher training.
Shaila is also looking for volunteers for 2011. If you are interested, contact Shaila on email@example.com or telephone 07961 386659 for more information. Donations can be made at http://www.hope4theworld.org.
75% of Tanzania's population live in the rural areas. BUT 90% of Tanzania's dental personnel live in cities!
The Tanzanian government solution is to train their Clinical Officers in Emergency Dentistry, and B2A are helping to achieve that. Clinical Officer Training in Emergency Dentistry
The health care team best placed to deliver basic dental services to the large rural populations of the region (and indeed the majority of the nation) are the rural Clinical Officers (COs). They are responsible for the provision of all basic medical services in thousands of small dispensaries and health centres across Tanzania. If you need a vaccination, a wound to be stitched, a baby to be delivered and pretty much anything else - the CO is your nearest answer. Their current training programme does not contain any practical dental aspect.
In partnership with the regional government, B2A have developed a 9 day intensive training course in Urgent Dental Treatment for Rural Clinical Officers. The course comprises two elements:
1) A 3 day residential course funded by B2A. COs receive theoretical instruction from their District Dental Officer.
2) A 6 day intensive practical course, based in rural villages, where COs are trained one-to-one by volunteer UK dentists travelling to the region as part of the Dental Volunteer Programme (DVP).
The course now runs four times a year. In the 5 years since the programme began, B2A have trained and equipped over 120 COs in the region, providing access to emergency dentistry to a population of over 1,200,000 people.
Bridge2Aid funds these courses mainly through donations from the UK, and partly through the profits of Hope Dental Centre.
Taking part in a DVP is a life-changing experience. Many of our volunteers come out time after time! If you have one years' post-graduate experience, you could apply to be a part of a DVP in 2011. Experienced dental nurses are also encouraged to apply, as they play a vital role in the delivery of the programme.
For more information click here to visit our DVP page. To receive an application form in the post, or for answers to specific questions, please email Ruth Bowyer, our Visits Co-ordinator, or telephone her on 07748 643006. Written enquiries/completed forms should be sent to the Bridge2Aid office.
The BDJ News section accepts items that include general news, latest research and diary events that interest our readers. Press releases or articles may be edited, and should include a colour photograph if possible.
Please direct your correspondence to the News Editor, Arveen Bajaj at the BDJ, The Macmillan Building, 4 Crinan Street, London N1 9XW or by email to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Introduction
The American Dental Association (ADA) is appealing for support to raise $350,000 to rebuild the 35 dental offices destroyed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, by the earthquake in January 2010.
The ADA is asking international dental organisations, the dental industry and dental specialty organisations to become part of the initiative to rebuild the oral health infrastructure of a country in dire need. It is one year since the earthquake struck Haiti and the country is still in crisis, dealing with an outbreak of cholera and enduring a period of political strife.
It is estimated that $10,000 will help rebuild each practice, so the ADA is asking the global dental industry to consider 'adopting a practice' or meeting the ADA halfway with a contribution of $5,000 – although an individual donation of as little as $3 would be appreciated.
Donations will be managed and distributed by Health Volunteers Overseas, a US non-profit organisation, with the ADA's assurance that donations will not go astray.
'We have an opportunity to positively influence oral health in Haiti for generations to come and I hope you will join us,' said Dr Raymond Gist, President of the ADA.
Bridge2Aid are working at grass roots level in the heart of Mwanza, a city in the north of Tanzania, providing effective dental care and treatment to all the local communities.
Working alongside the Tanzanian government, we are addressing the urgent issues of:
Lack of treatment in rural areas Most trained personnel are in cities but up to 90% of the population live in rural areas.
Providing education Many get seriously ill or even die after attempting to extract teeth themselves.
Equal access for all Hope Dental Centre, set up and run by B2A, serves all members of the local community regardless of race or wealth. Hope Dental Centre
Hope Dental Centre is our fully equipped clinic in the busy centre of Mwanza, Tanzania.
It operates on a unique self-funding basis. The centre provides a wide range of high quality dental services with affordable prices, meeting the oral health needs of all members of the Mwanza community.
The two dental surgeons work for an agreed, capped salary. All the costs of running the centre, including the dentists' capped salaries, are met from the fees charged.
All profits made from providing these services are used for the charitable purposes of Bridge2Aid Tanzania.
We aim to make a big difference to the lives of the people of Mwanza; a little goes a long way. For example, just £5 will pay for emergency dental care, treatment and medicine for a member of the street community. Will you help us to help others?
Please give whatever you can; click here, or on the image on the left, to make a fast, easy, secure donation to Bridge2Aid.
The Bridge2Aid Dental Volunteer Programme (DVP) was developed to allow qualified dental professionals to pass on their skills to local health care personnel in Tanzania.
Each 13-day trip has spaces for up to 12 dentists and 8 nurses (or hygienists willing to act as hygienists/nurses) who are willing to work in remote rural clinics developing the skills of Clinical Officers and delivering basic dental services to the community.
We are grateful to the Sunnymead Trust for the use of their manual during the DVP.
We are currently interviewing for our September and November 2011 trips. (A minimum of 1 full year's post-graduate experience for dentist applicants is required). To apply for your place, read on to the bottom of this page! We do sometimes have last minute cancellations, if you'd like to be kept on the waiting list for any future DVP trips then please let us know by emailing Ruth Bowyer.
History of the B2A DVP:
The Bridge2Aid Dental Volunteer Programme was developed in partnership with Dentaid during 2004, and we are very grateful for their support in helping to establish the visits. Since then we have run the programme ourselves.
“Amazing organisation - I have never been on a more organised trip. I look forward to seeing B2A become more successful with each passing year.”
“This has been a rewarding experience both professionally and personally, I have realised how lucky our patients are.”
“I am amazed at what can be achieved in 5 days of clinical officer training.”
“It was so moving and great to be part of a charity working at such a grass roots level.”
“DVP is a bit like Big Brother and CPD all thrown into one!”
“Visiting Bukumbi Village was an experience I will never forget.”
Volunteering on dental programmes abroad can not only be a valuable learning experience for the dentist volunteering, but can also provide the opportunity for them to help educate and train much-needed clinicians in the country they visit. One such programme is the Bridge2Aid Dental Volunteer Programme in Tanzania. Here Jennie Harvey describes the programme and what is involved.
The Bridge2Aid Dental Volunteer Programme
The Bridge2Aid Dental Volunteer Programme (DVP) is a hands-on experience whereby British dentists and dental nurses deliver, and train others in delivering, emergency oral healthcare (EOHC).
DVP began in 2004 and was initially developed in partnership with Dentaid. Since the inaugural DVP, Bridge2Aid (B2A) has run 11 more programmes, each one reaching and training more people than the last. In total, DVP participants have successfully trained over 50 rural clinical officers (RCOs), providing a long-term, sustainable solution to the problem of unskilled clinicians in remote areas of northern Tanzania. Why is emergency oral healthcare (EOHC) such a necessity in Tanzania, and how does DVP help?
The main problem in Tanzania is the absolute lack of trained medical personnel who can provide EOHC to people living in rural areas. Because trained personnel simply are not available, patients have to resort to a next referral level or to attending unqualified 'tooth extractors'. In any case, associated costs are high and complications are likely and unavoidable. Not only is treatment at best delayed, often it is of a poor standard, resulting in infection, serious injury, large blood loss and/or septicaemia. And of course, lack of appropriate and essential equipment coupled with poor practice is a serious obstacle in providing oral care.
Essentially, DVP provides a solution to the problem of unskilled dental personnel in rural Tanzania. Each DVP is a structured 13-day programme of delivering training to RCOs and carrying out basic dental services. How does DVP equip RCOs? The Bridge2Aid Dental Volunteer Programme
Kiaran Weil teaching clinical offi cers injection technique
RCOs undergo an intensive dental training course with three distinct phases. The first phase involves four days of training in basic dental anatomy and theory. The second phase follows immediately and involves six days of one-to-one tuition with a qualified dentist or experienced dental therapist or dental officer. The final phase involves follow-up by the District Dental Officer (DDO) to assess and improve on the skills gained in phase two and to monitor actual service delivery, quality of care, registration and referral practices. How does B2A plan to enhance DVP?
Sustainability underpins the aim of DVP. With this in mind, we will be empowering RCOs that have successfully trained on a previous DVP to become trainers of others. This will be effective from late 2008, when we will be using RCOs on each site as trainers as an initial trial. This principle of trainees becoming trainers and the districts eventually having their own team of skilled practitioners who can operate in-house training, is fundamental to B2A's philosophy of operation. What is the training content of the DVP?
Phase one is based at a district hospital. The theory course is a four day residential format. After an initial baseline assessment, RCOs are trained in initial welcome and assessment of patients, health and disease, healthy teeth, anatomy, external and intra-oral examination, tooth extraction, complications of extractions and post-extraction care, local anaesthetic, care of instruments, and cross infection and safety, etc. Training is classroom-based.
Phase two is a six-day practical course based at two primary healthcare facilities (PHCFs) in the participating districts. The aim of the practical training is to gradually increase the level of exposure to performing extractions over the course, under the close supervision of a qualified practitioner (a volunteer UK dentist, the DDO or experienced and suitably approved dental personnel – eg a dental therapist or dental officer). In addition, trainees are developed in patient care, diagnosis, administration of local anaesthetic and care of instruments. For sufficient training to occur, a large number of patients are required to provide opportunities for the RCOs to gain experience. For this reason the training is based in PHCFs that can provide a suitable number of patients (between 80 and 120 per day). Subject to successful completion of a written test and practical assessment by the trainer, the RCO is awarded a certificate of competence in EOHC and allocated an instrument kit and non-electric steriliser for use in their base PHCF.
Finally, phase three involves a visit to the RCO at one, two and six months by their DDO (subject to available resources we suggest that there is a monthly supervisory visit). Supervision provides support and gives an opportunity to advise, help, teach and motivate. The objective of supervision is to monitor and improve the quality of the services. The supervision focuses on clinical performance, presence of adequate supplies, condition of instruments and equipment, response of the community, number of patients attended, problems encountered during clinical procedures and record keeping. How do you know DVP is effective?
To date, DVP has operated in two districts – Magu and Misungwi. Evidence from Magu District shows:
The number of trained personnel has increased from two before intervention, to 40 An increase in the quality of care available at a dispensary and health centre level – people no longer have to travel several miles for simple treatment Demand for emergency oral healthcare services in villages is high – the first year's statistics shows a fourfold increase in the numbers of people treated thanks to the availability of services in the villages The training brings about a reduction in pressure on services at the district hospital – the first year after training started actually saw a reduction in the numbers treated at the district hospital, but a 50% increase in the number of advanced treatments provided.
How many RCOs have now been trained and equipped on the DVP?
Amazingly, we have now trained over 50 RCOs in EOHC. As the catchment area for each rural clinical officer is between 7,500 and 15,000 people, as a charity we have increased access to emergency dentistry for at least 375,000 people, and as many as 765,000! So, what is it like to take part in a DVP?
Here, regular DVP participant Neil Marshall tells of his experience:
'The programme has developed a lot since the early days. Bridge2Aid has always been well organised but experience has shown areas where protocols are required. DVPers are given a lot more information about teaching objectives prior to their trip. WHO and FDI guidelines have been incorporated into the programme.
'As returning DVPers are familiar with the programme, they are more able to support first timers. Volunteers are now being given positions of responsibility within DVP which will allow increased sustainability, as the strength of the programme lies in the system rather than the personalities behind it. On my last trip the UK team was able to run the DVP independently, allowing the Bridge2Aid team to deal with other important issues such as meetings with government ministers in Dar es Salaam. Now the question of continuing professional development (CPD) for clinical officers who have completed training with DVP is being talked about. In four years the programme has transformed from an ambitious experiment to a professionally run project intent on sustainability and looking to expand into other areas of Africa where there is similar need.
'It is easy to explain DVP's success. The programme is well organised and is based on a model which provides a sustainable solution to a problem suffered by some of the poorest people in the world. A two-week period allows dental professionals to take part while maintaining responsibilities at home.'
Neil recounts two of his most memorable experiences: 'There are many memorable experiences from DVP but perhaps two stick in my mind. On one of the first clinics of my first DVP, an orphan of about six years old was brought in suffering from toothache. She was HIV positive and I began to wonder just how unfair life can get. She had to have a tooth extracted.
'On my third visit a woman gave birth to a baby boy on the track outside the dispensary the team was working in. She appeared in the doorway clutching both baby and afterbirth. She was taken in and allowed to rest for two or three hours before going on her way, her baby strapped to her back. She named him Gabriel.
'I would say to the prospective DVPer: this is life at the coal face – go and experience it!'
Volunteers have a positive input in the development of the programme, another reason why so many dental professionals take part again and again. I would like to volunteer – what skills will I need?
There are no set skills required for a DVP participant beyond two years' postgraduate experience. However, applicants should be up on their extraction technique and happy to carry out plenty of extractions each day!
A positive attitude combined with a sense of humour will definitely help get the most out of the experience. It is a difficult environment where everyone does the best they can with what is available; the RCOs are very willing to learn, a translator is provided, but you must be willing to demonstrate your skills and oversee the development of their technique. How can dental professionals get involved?
The DVP programme is immensely popular with British dentists and dental nurses. Each trip is booked up months in advance and a waiting list is now in operation. The opportunity to volunteer overseas in a professional capacity has captured the hearts and minds of over 40 dentists and 30 dental nurses so far; many have returned once, twice or even more often!
As mentioned above, dentist applicants need at least two years' postgraduate experience. Dentists can apply by downloading an application form from our website: http://www.bridge2aid.org/cm/general/dvp The Bridge2Aid Dental Volunteer Programme
Phil Loughnane, a DVP volunteer, highlighting a problem to a clinical officer
Qualified and experienced dental nurses and hygienists also play an important role on DVP, and are encouraged to apply.
Jennie Harvey is Communications Co-ordinator for Bridge2Aid. Contact e-mail: email@example.com.
We are trying to bring the world together' By Stacie Crozier
Jerusalem—In a melting pot city where thousands of indigent children lack access to oral health care, the Dental Volunteers for Israel Trudi Birger Dental Clinic has spent 30 years focusing on its mission: "To prevent suffering of Jerusalem's indigent children and youth—of all ethnic and religious backgrounds—from physical and psychological pain by providing quality dental care and oral health education." Dr. Susan Gross, shown with a DVI patient Successful practice model: Dr. Susan Gross, shown with a DVI patient, admires the continuity of care the clinic is able to offer its patients.
All qualified children ages 5-18 can find a dental home in the free clinic that is staffed with Israeli pediatric dentists and team members, plus a constant rotation of international dentist volunteers. Since its founding, the clinic has treated more than 20,000 children.
Jerusalem's Social Welfare Service and at-risk youth centers refer patients to the clinic. According to Israeli government statistics, some 200,000 Jerusalem children live in poverty.
Before receiving treatment, children and their parents must participate in a preventive health care program provided on-site by the dental hygienists to learn about oral health and how to care for their teeth. The preventive program sees about 600 children and parents each month.
In 2009 the clinic provided 13,411 treatments for 3,353 children with the help of its staff and 141 volunteer dentists. DVI is also an authorized training facility for pediatric dentistry residents from Hebrew University, and about four residents switch out quarterly each year to serve pediatric dentistry rotations in the clinic.
Volunteer dentists treat patients five days a week for one to four weeks and pay their own transportation costs to and from Jerusalem. DVI supplies them with housing for themselves and a couple of guests or family members. Volunteers can use Fridays and Saturdays for sightseeing and vacation time. DVI staff members help volunteers to obtain a temporary license to practice in the clinic.
DVI fundraisers planned for November
New York—In honor of Dental Volunteers for Israel's 30th anniversary in November, American Friends of DVI will host two special events to raise funds for DVI.
On Nov. 8-9, the group will host a two-day continuing education seminar with Dr. Gordon Christensen. Participants will also have the opportunity to add on a day trip with Zev Birger, husband of DVI founder Trudi Birger, and DVI staff.
Since Trudi died in 2002, the clinic has continued its mission to provide free dental care to Jerusalem’s indigent children ages 5-18, regardless of race or religion.
The American Friends of DVI will also host an International Gala Dinner and Celebration Nov. 28 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, in conjunction with the Greater New York Dental Meeting.
"Our founder and inspiration was Trudi Birger, a Holocaust survivor who established the clinic that draws volunteer dentists from 34 countries and donations from worldwide," said Dr. Michael Goldberg, a Manhattan dentist, vice president of the American Friends of DVI and chair for the international gala.
"I have volunteered more than 20 times at DVI and can attest to the professionally rewarding experience it is. If we could replicate what happens at DVI on a daily basis in other areas, the world would be a better place. There are too few venues where people of all faiths and backgrounds meet toward a common goal. At DVI it happens every day."
For more details or to pre-register for either event, visit the website: www.americanfriendsofdvi.org. "We make it easy for dentists around the world to come and volunteer," said Michelle Levine, DVI's director of international relations and development. "Everything is ready for them. All they need to do is come and focus on the dentistry. There are no concerns, no paperwork, and they can provide optimal care for our patients without consideration of cost constraints. Our clinic brings the whole world of dentistry together in a positive way."
Since it was founded in 1980, the clinic has drawn more than 4,500 dentist volunteers—more than half non-Jewish—from 34 countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa and New Zealand. Support from charitable donations comes from around the globe and finances about 95 percent of the clinic’s budget.
"A lopsided percentage of the free clinic's budget is composed of in-kind donations (which must be legally recorded in DVI’s budget), such as the time of volunteer dentists, as well as clinic supplies, which are primarily donated by Henry Schein Cares and other philanthropic companies like Premier USA," said Ms. Levine. "Thanks to this combined effort of dentists, industry leaders and private donors, DVI is such a cost-efficient nonprofit organization that every dollar donated makes an incredible impact."
"I get a little twang before I go," says Dr. Susan Gross, a general dentist in suburban Minneapolis who has made four trips to volunteer at the DVI clinic. "This clinic has such an interesting model. Patients and parents have a big responsibility to keep up with oral care between visits, or they can't continue as patients there. The model stresses continuity of care and all kids are treated equally. It's a peaceful and caring place in one of the most volatile parts of the world, and it’s very fulfilling to be a part of it."
Dr. Gross, who is Jewish, says she learned about the clinic from a Christian colleague who regularly volunteers there. "I know a little bit of Hebrew and I like to practice it when I'm there," she says. "The kids laugh at me when I make mistakes. I also enjoy exploring the cultural and religious activities there during my free time."
At home, Dr. Gross also teaches part time at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, working with residents in the general practice residency program. Her volunteer efforts in Minneapolis include serving on the dental board, the alumni association and the Give Kids A Smile committee.
"I know you don't have to get on a plane to help provide access to dental care. There's a lot we can do in our own communities," Dr. Gross added. "But at the DVI clinic, you're not involved in a short-term program. You're not just doing extractions or working in temporary facilities. You can immerse yourself in providing care. You're not wasting time and resources, because the staff here is organized and the program is well established. Volunteers can provide high-quality care and the children get continuity of care, no matter who is volunteering when they come to the clinic."
For the past eight years, Dr. Otice Z. Helmer Jr., a general dentist in Fort Worth, Texas, has observed a new tradition in celebrating Christmas—volunteering at the DVI clinic. Season of giving: Dr. Otice Helmer and his wife Brenda have volunteered at the DVI clinic during Christmas week for the past eight years. Season of giving: Dr. Otice Helmer and his wife Brenda have volunteered at the DVI clinic during Christmas week for the past eight years.
"I saw a little notice in the ADA News about 15 years ago," said Dr. Helmer, "asking for volunteer dentists to travel to Jerusalem. I cut it out and stuck it in a drawer and forgot about it. But it came to the surface again and I called. I explained that my office was usually closed for the Christmas holidays so that would be a good time for me to go, and they put me on the schedule."
Now, he and his wife Brenda make the two-week trip every year. Brenda helps DVI staff with the preventive program activities, gathering children and families, showing a dental health education video and passing out toothbrushes, while Dr. Helmer (known as "Dr. Z") works in the clinic.
"We have a big family gathering at Thanksgiving, but once we get on the plane for Israel, we are in work mode," said Dr. Helmer. "As Christians, we feel that because Jesus served others while he was on earth, he would support us helping children on Christmas day."
The Helmers will visit Israel twice this year, he added. "Since we've begun volunteering for DVI, we've made a lot of friends in Israel. In August, two of our friends are getting married, so we are going to attend the wedding. I told the clinic I could help out while I'm there, so I will be a back-up dentist if they need help."
Dr. Katzman Dr. Katzman Dr. Robin Katzman, a general dentist in Orlando, Fla., said from the time she graduated from dental school she knew she wanted to volunteer in Israel.
"After establishing a practice and raising a family, I was finally able to go for the first time in 2003," said Dr. Katzman. "It was a great fit for me because at least half the patients in my practice are children. I was doing exactly what I like to do."
Now preparing for her seventh trip this month, Dr. Katzman said her volunteer experiences "pick me up professionally and spiritually. My patients at home really love that I do this. It makes them feel good about their dentist and about dentistry in the U.S."
Volunteering for DVI, said Dr. Michael Goldberg, a Manhattan dentist, former dental educator and vice president of the American Friends of DVI, helps give him a broader perspective about international relations.
"I've been volunteering for DVI since 1984, and I have worked with dentists from all over the world," said Dr. Goldberg. "Last year, I worked with dentists from Norway, Finland and Chile. The clinic brings dentists from all over the world to treat children of all backgrounds. What we are trying to accomplish is not just helping children's oral health. We are trying to bring the world together—something that in Judaism we refer to as 'tikkun olam,' a phrase that means 'repairing the world.'"
Dr. Goldberg is also a firm believer in the practical benefits volunteering can have on a dentist's career. Smiles: Dr. Michael Goldberg and a DVI patient pause for a photo before treatment begins. Smiles: Dr. Michael Goldberg and a DVI patient pause for a photo before treatment begins.
"I say the best practice management advice I can give a colleague is to volunteer. Giving your time away makes you feel more entitled. It keeps your enthusiasm up. It keeps you current and energized."
Dr. Goldberg also spends time working to obtain charitable donations for the clinic through the American Friends of DVI. He is chair for the organization's international gala planned for November (See story, this page).
The clinic's mission has already come full circle, Dr. Goldberg added, since one of its past patients, a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, is now one of its volunteer dentists.
Dr. Nedal Alayyan, a patient from 1984-93, now practices dentistry in East Jerusalem and has volunteered in the clinic since 2006. His story is profiled in a DVI brochure available to donors, potential donors and volunteers. Dr. Alayyan Dr. Alayyan
"From my first day at the clinic, DVI dentists were so kind to me, so concerned with me personally, inquiring about me, rewarding me with a gift they'd brought from abroad to Israel," said Dr. Alayyan. "From that moment, I knew I wanted to be a dentist—and especially to treat children with kindness and compassion, because children really need this extra level of care."
"Today, I treat many patients with Down syndrome who are rejected by other clinics—having learned from DVI dentists how patience, kindness and a gentle touch makes a profound difference," said Dr. Alayyan. "DVI dentists treat every child equally. Jewish dentists treated me with kindness. I will do the same with Jewish children. I learn to be a better dentist from so many dentists around the world—it's an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. I want to give back to DVI, but I end up still on the receiving end."
More information on the DVI clinic is available at the website, www.dental-dvi.org.il, and you can also find it on Facebook, YouTube and the ADA International Volunteer website.
To learn about other international dental volunteer opportunities visit the ADA International Volunteer website, http://internationalvolunteer.ada.org or contact the ADA Division of Global Affairs, 1-312-440-2726 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annually, our local pediatric dentist, Dr. Jamie Diament-Golub, with practices in Westwood and Fort Lee, spends ten days on the island of Jamaica doing volunteer dental work. Through an organization known as Health Care International, she provides free dental care to rural communities in the southern and central areas of Jamaica. Founded by Dr. Noel Brown, a dental alum of NYU, the organization brings dental students from Columbia, NYU, Harlem and Michigan's dental schools each year to these under-served areas. The team also consists of MD's and nurses who provided blood pressure and glucose screenings, as well as providing free medications and antibiotics. Dr. Diament-Golub, a part time faculty at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, her 15 dental students and the rest of the team treat an estimated 1600 patients throughout the week. The team provides dental extractions, cleanings, fillings and offers preventative care, oral health education, free toothbrushes and toothpaste to the communities.
Four local medical professionals join nonprofit trip
Life-changing work, for both dentists and patients.
Two Traverse City dentists, Steven Niergarth and Jason Merrithew, joined a medical mission trip by HELPS International, a nonprofit organization that since 1987 has sent 155 medical teams to help indigenous people in Latin America.
From Feb. 12-22, Niergarth and Merrithew headed to Guatemala with a team of other volunteer medical professionals — including two registered dental hygienists from their Deerhaven Family Dentistry practice, Robinette Patterson and Bridget Forton, as well as retired nurse from Traverse City, Ann Conway.
Staff members from the community dental health service in Liverpool have returned from a two week trip to Tanzania, training African Clinical Officers to extract teeth.
Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust employees Rizwana Haq, a Dental Officer, and Liz Puzzar, a Senior Dental Health Promotion Officer volunteered their services as part of charity Bridge2Aid's Dental Volunteer Programme.
Although 75% of Tanzania's population live in rural areas, 90% of the country's dental personnel live in cities, leaving rural people cut off from dental and general health services and often in a great deal of pain.
Tanzania's Rural Clinical Officers are responsible for the provision of all basic medical services in thousands of small dispensaries and health centres across Tanzania. They regularly deliver babies, give vaccinations and stitch wounds, but when it comes to giving emergency dentistry, they have very few skills.
Bridge2Aid relies on volunteers such as Rizwana and Liz to give up their time to train almost 50 Officers every year.
Rizwana, who works in Vauxhall Health Centre, Everton Ward Health Centre, and in the Emergency Dental Service, said: "I first spotted the opportunity to go to Tanzania a couple of years ago when I went to a British Dental Association Conference. I was interested then, but when I took home the application form there were two things stopping me from applying - questions about my motivation for going, and my weaknesses. I just didn't know how to answer.
"Last year I returned to another BDA Conference and started talking to someone from the Bridge2Aid stand. When I told them why I hadn't got round to applying, they couldn't believe it, and really inspired me to apply."
When Rizwana told her colleagues about her forthcoming adventure, Liz was particularly excited. So when another volunteer dropped out, she stepped in to take their place.
Liz said: "Going to Tanzania was a fabulous experience, the country was so beautiful and the people so friendly. We helped train 12 Community Officers while we were there and saw over 800 people. It felt great to be offering some real practical help which will make people's lives more comfortable.
"At the moment we are very lucky in Liverpool - we have access to emergency dental services 365 days of the year. Those who live in rural Tanzania are currently dependent on travelling dental services for help. By offering our support and working with Rural Clinical Officers in Tanzania, it means that they can get help on a much more regular basis."
Rizwana added: "We both want to go back in the near future and are hoping to do some fund raising activities over the summer to help fund another trip to Tanzania."
Freiwilliger Einsatz für zahnärztliche Hifsstation in Ladakh/Himalaya. Dr. Carsten Ordelheide bei seinem ehrenamtlichen Einsatz in Ladakh/Indien.
Ausgestattet mit Materialien, die unter anderem von der Sektion Zahngesundheit im Deutschen Grünen Kreuz e. V. gespendet worden waren, reiste ein Münsteraner Zahnarztpaar im Juni 2007 in den Himalaya. Im indischen Ladakh befinden sich mehrere Projekte, die vom Verein "Kinder im Himalaya" betrieben werden. Das jüngste Projekt "Dental Health Care" (zahnärztliche Versorgung) startete im Jahr 2000. Seitdem gibt es in Ladakh eine Zahnstation mit zwei Behandlungseinheiten, die aber mangels einheimischer Zahnärzte nicht kontinuierlich besetzt werden kann. Daher werden mehrwöchige freiwillige Einsätze deutscher Zahnärzte organisiert. Der Schwerpunkt von "Dental Health Care" liegt auf der Zahnsanierung aller Schulkinder in den von "Kinder des Himalaya" e.V. unterstützten Schulen. Mehr Informationen über das Projekt erhalten Sie im Internet unter www.kinderhimal.de.