REPORTS FROM THE FIELD: Another school benefits from EBPP Dental Outreach project in Ban Village

By: Meuthika Fitriyana (Public Health Team) and Komang Kurniawan (Chairman and Team Leader)

 

Dental 1Bright and early on July 29th 2016, three EBPP staff members (Komang Kurniawan, Kadek Indah and myself), our volunteer dentist from Denpasar, and a nurse from Kubu II Puskesmas (Community Health Centre) busily prepare to head to Elementary School Four in Ban Village for a scheduled dental service program. The four of us pack into the EBPP Suzuki Karibian 4×4 and head off for a bumpy ride. There are no asphalt roads leading to this location. Instead, the road is very steep, filled with sand, and in an extreme condition – rainwater has caused severe erosion. The damaged roads prove very difficult to manage but luckily our driver, Kadek, can handle these kinds of dangerous conditions.

The students and teachers are eagerly awaiting our arrival. They show us into the classroom where the dental checks will be administered. We quickly get to work, preparing everything, dividing tasks accordingly and registering each student. We review the importance and basics of dental hygiene with the children. We explain that poor dental health can result in problems with the rest of our bodies and that these problems can affect our lives, interfering with day to day activities. Just before the check-ups begin, we teach all of the kids how to brush their teeth properly, we brush our teeth together using the tooth brushes and tooth paste provided by EBPP.Dental 4

The kids begin getting their teeth checked by the dentist, one by one. A few are shy or scared, unsure about having a dentist check out their teeth. This is often a challenge we face with children, but we know that as long as we take a soft approach and explain why it’s important, they will understand and agree. We can start to feel the enthusiasm and excitement in the room as the students flash their smiles, proudly showing off their clean teeth. It’s time for their photo shoot! We can see the value in this program right away – kids are gaining awareness about oral hygiene and beginning to understand the importance of taking care of their teeth as part of their health regimen.

The results are in: 72 checks in total. 4 had poor oral hygiene, 29 had a tooth extraction, 27 received a tooth filling, and 16 have healthy mouths. This is just one day and a small sample of the impact EBPP has made on the dental health of Ban Village community members. In 2001, EBPP started this dental program to educate and provide services for Ban Village and Tianyar as part of their community health outreach when no residents had any access to health or dental care, and the programme has been sponsored by Inspirasia Foundation since 2009. In 2016, 51 schools with total 4,392 students are the beneficiaries of the program and so far, 21 school and 1,679 students have received services this year.

Dental 3At 11:30am, we pack up and say goodbye and head back to the office.  We pack our stuffs and saying good bye to each other, to the teacher then we went back to our office. The roads are even more hazardous on the way home but it only reinforces our belief that to realize big dreams and achieve our goals, we must overcome obstacles. We hope that in the future, everybody (we already treat all school children and those at kindergarten) in Ban Village get full and equal access to dental healthcare!

 

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