Dental mission to BhutanMay 15, 2014
Since they were dental students, both dentists Dr. Jin and Dr. Wong have been actively involved in volunteering their time in various developing countries. They have recently returned from Bhartsam, Bhutan, a small village tucked away in the eastern Himalayas between India and China. Drs. Jin and Wong, along with a team of six dental professionals, were issued temporary dental licences by the Bhutanese Ministry of Health to provide hundreds of villagers with much needed basic and preventative dental care.
Dental Care Availability
“There is little access to dental care available in this area. People walked many miles of remote mountainous pathways and patiently lined up for hours just to see us. The need is so great that we only wish we could have stayed longer. Working under such primitive conditions has made me so grateful for the readily accessible and preventative dental services here in Canada. We often take for granted that if we have a toothache or infection we can go see a dentist and have it treated immediately. We treated many patients with conditions that are almost never seen in practice. Many patients had never seen a dentist ever. Out of all the locations we have volunteered Bhutan has been the most memorable. The remoteness, and shear rugged beauty of Bhutan is amazing but most of all I’ll remember the warmth of the villagers who were so grateful and welcoming. ”
The objective was to set up a makeshift dental clinic with portable equipment where local villagers could get basic dental care. In the future, efforts will be made to create a permanent dental clinic where dental volunteers from across Canada and the US can travel to provide basic dental services on an annual basis. The program will be developed in cooperation with the local government authorities.