Dental Mission Trip to Panama
Alemany Dental recently received a heartwarming letter from a small group of young medical professionals from Samuel Merritt University in Oakland returning from a recent trip to a small village in Panama, where they were able to provide dental care and supplies donated by Dr. Lyew. A clinic was opened and was made available to almost 500 villagers within a 3 day period. The letter reads:
“Dr. Lyew, Jody and AD family,
Thanks so much for supplying our Panama medical mission again! We were so pleased to be able to provide the villagers of Bata with some dental care. We had the clinic open for 3 days, from 9AM-5PM and saw 496 patients. We had a primary care focus in half of the clinic and a physical therapy team and community education team or “Charla” as the other half.
Charla is our educational component that we send all of our patients through after they have been seen in clinic. They rotate through while waiting for prescriptions to be filled. In the past we have taught tooth brushing, proper lifting techniques, dangers of alcohol and importance of boiling all water for consumption. We only address one issue per trip, and this week-thanks to your efforts we focused strictly on tooth brushing and offered fluoride treatments. From years past, the villagers had a good idea of proper technique and frequency of tooth brushing. I can tell you that they are on board with the program, and we could have handed out 2000 samples of toothpaste. We made it last, and while they do have access to paste-like everywhere free is best! The fluoride treatments were another story, some patients were a little apprehensive and some were very excited. My favorite was the older woman who 2-4 teeth left and laughed at us when we explained it would help protect her teeth. She said, “My one tooth?!” We responded yes! We need to baby that tooth! Everybody was laughing.
Most the pictures of us on the road with the pickups should convey the fact that his is a very remote area of panama. This area is so remote that until the first trip in 2013(the first time you guys hooked us up) no medical mission or in-country medical providers had come to their village. Yes, the ministry of health comes by regularly with vaccines, but aside from that-they are on their own to make it down the mountain and to the nearest town roughly 4 hours by truck or 1/2 – 1 day on foot.
There are also a few pictures of one of the eco-stoves we built. This might be one of the most effect long-term changes we make for their overall health. Nearly every patent we see has upper respiratory infection or worse due to the constant inhalation of soot. They live in traditional one-room homes and share air with an open fire. The villagers love the stoves as they are more economical and burn cleaner, and we will continue to build more on trips to come. Once again, thank you for securing the donated supplies and helping to care of this very special group of people. We appreciate it so much. The hummingbird is a made gift from the people of Batata.
Sincere thanks from Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, ”
What an awesome and wonderful group of people to give their time to provide dental care for those far in reach of proper health care. We at Alemany Dental would like to thank those involved with the organization for all your hard work. We would also like to thank to those who donated to this cause; such as Catherine Hart from Colgate, Mary Fadhl from Independent Rep for Vella Varn, Peggy Walters from Sultan Healthcare, and Ellen Hong from Henry Schein. If you would learn more about this amazing organization, please contact our office!