Volunteer American Dentists to Return to Nepal in November 2009!
In the developing world, tens of millions of children lack access to basic dental care. Since 2008 the South Asia Children’s Fund has worked with the US-based Himalayan Dental Relief to provide high-quality dental care for hundreds of girls and boys who live in and around the town of Bandipur, four hours by vehicle west of Kathmandu.
The first dental clinic in October 2008 was hosted by Notre Dame School, surrounded by lush gardens and affording spectacular views of the Himalayas to the north. The Himalayan Dental Relief team, working with student volunteers from SMD School and Child Haven, expertly converted one of the largest classrooms into a professional dental clinic, complete with a compressor to run dental drills and other equipment.
Laurie Matthews, the Director and Coordinator of Himalayan Dental Relief, managed all aspects of the camp. Her dedicated team, which included Dr. Andrew and Dr Tom, attended to 254 patients between the ages of five and 19. Most of the children and youth were students at local government schools; almost all had never before received any care from a dentist or hygienist. A priority was to teach the importance of brushing teeth on a daily basis…not merely once a month as was the practice for some of the children!
In November 2009 Himalayan Dental Relief will return to Bandipur with its team of dentists and hygienists from the United States. The goal is to provide follow-up care for all children whom they attended the previous year, and to reach as many new children as time permits. The clinic will be co-hosted by Bhanu School and the Bandipur Social Development Committee. South Asia Children’s Fund will provide logistical and technical support for the clinic.