Every time we build a Cyber Sustainable Development hub, we add a health component to it. Last year we brought a team of doctors to provide primary care in Montecristi. This year we we were planning on the same type of service, until the leader told us that the real health care need was that of a dentist, since the last time the members of Patacancha saw one was 20 years ago.
Thanks to the sponsorship of Johnson and Johnson, we were able to bring dental care during our visit. The best part is that we’ve hired a dentist to come once a month throughout the entire year. This will give the community an ongoing service that has been missing for way too long.
Before the dentist came, we met the chief leaders of the community and went over the priority list of those who needed the dentist. We requested to give pregnant women the priority since dental issues could affect the baby’s health. They agreed with this, as long as we also gave priority to those who were currently suffering from a toothache. Of course that was a fair negotiation!
The first visit was an eye opener for the dentist. He discovered that 100% of the patients he treated did not brush their teeth. A prevention project became imperative. We are sending a tooth brush to each member of the community and tooth paste to every family. This will be provided until March 2013, which is when their e-commerce will be up and running. The dentist will show the basics of dental hygiene to a group of people in Patacancha who can then train others.
As you can see, this is the beginning of a long journey. Being deprived of dental services for 20 years cannot be fixed in 5 days or a month. However, we feel that we did make the first step in the right direction. A huge thanks to Johnson & Johnson for making this dream a reality through their sponsorship. We couldn’t have provided this dental service without their help. Another huge thanks goes to Dentists Without Borders who have agreed to share the dental equipment with the Patacancha community. The members of Patacancha will have access to state of the art dental equipment and tools.
On behalf of our new family, thank you!