Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Off Ship Sites II. - Dental Clinic

Our second stop was at the Dental Clinic. We got there a bit too soon as the team were still doing their devotions and final setup for the day, so we had some time to sit and talk to the patients. One of the security guards brought an African drum out of nowhere and that's all it took for the people waiting in lines to jump up and start dancing. :)

According to the World Health Organization, there are about 18 dentists in Togo for a population of 6 million people (that is about one dentist for every 333 333 persons).  Where many of the nation live on about $1.25 per day.  The opportunities for most people to go to a dentist is almost zero. Unfortunately by the time they get to see a dentist the teeth are in such a bad shape that the best our dentists can do is to pull the them to relieve the pain. :(

The goal of the Dental Program is to reduce the incidence of dental disease by providing dental education and treatments such as restorations, extractions, and cleaning.  In our 2010 field service in Togo over 6,000 people received dental services with almost 13,000 procedures being performed.

Welcome sign in French telling everybody ALL our services are FREE
Oral hygiene teaching materials :)

Looking down from the second floor to the people waiting.
Registration area. Joyce (Jamaica) on the right is with Mercy Ships for20+ years
Torture Chamber behind this door...

Entering the lion's dent - this is our temporary dental clinic with 6 "work stations".
Some patients get the numbing injection and wait till the dentist works on another patient.

Our Western dentist on the right and a local translator / trainee on the left working together side by side.

Donations from all over the world that we distribute to the patients.

Usually the remove 2-8 teeth from 1 patient.
The Torture Desk
The Sterilizing Team is on floor 3 making sure no cross contamination occurs.
As I said - Africans ALWAYS have a way of celebrating and dancing, even if you are waiting for the dentist! :)

In the beginning of April they took this photo:
This is the happy 2000th patient!

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