Setting Up a Dental Clinic in Jiquilillo, Nicaragua
By Dr. Jerry Isenberg, BSC DDS FICD
In conjunction with Together Works Society and Speroway, we have set up a dental clinic to serve the local people of Jiquilillo and nearby villages located on the North Pacific coast of Nicaragua. So far, in piloting this project, we have held three five-day clinics over the past 6 months and treated 250 patients.
This project came to be as a result of two experiences. One was my participation in regular medical-dental missions to various Central American countries run by the Canadian based charity Speroway. In these missions our dental team would set up in different towns daily, fully equipped to do extractions and fillings. Our key piece of equipment was The Aseptico II unit which is basically a dental office in a suitcase. It contains a compressor to power HV suction, handpieces, air/water syringes and an ultrasonic scaler.
The second step that led me to this current project was our discovery of Monty’s Beach Lodge. This resort of cabanas on a beach is, in of itself, a fantasy beach get a way. However, its most extraordinary feature is the theme with which it operates…..giving back to the local needy population. Guests staying at Monty’s have the opportunity to help build homes, teach English and share any kind of other skills that would benefit the locals. As a result, continuing under the auspices of Speroway, I have found a permanent home for some of the dental equipment previously used on missions. With the help of many dedicated volunteers, we set up this past August, seeing many patients and more importantly setting up the framework for an operation that will provide opportunities for other dental professionals to man our clinic year round.
We are now in the recruiting phase with the hope of providing regular dental care that will have a significant and long term impact on the dental health of these most welcoming, appreciative people.
This extraordinary opportunity for dental professionals offers a unique combination of highly fulfilling work and holiday. It is an experience that rewards volunteers with an exhilarating change of perspective that extends far beyond the trip itself.
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