Oral Health Program
“Oral health is a neglected area of overall international health”- these words were expressed by the Director-General of the World Health Organization at their most recent conference. It was meant to be a wake-up call to the international health community. They were words of encouragement to the long standing advocacy work of the FDI World Dental Federation (http://www.fdiworldental.org)
Since inception, the IC Haiti Medical Team has included dental care as part of its’ overall mission in Tibouk. Recent evidenced-based research has concluded that oral health effects systemic health. Infection and inflammation of the oral cavity not only can cause acute pain and discomfort but also increases the risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently produced the manual; “Basic Package of Oral Care” (BPOC).
The essential components of the BPOC are:
- Oral Urgent Treatment (OUT)
Affordable Fluoride Toothpaste (AFT)
Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART)
The I.C. Haiti Team has consistently met two of the three components advocated by the WHO.
- “OUT” – by performing dental extractions and the prescribing of antibiotics
“AFT”- by collecting and then distributing fluoridated toothpaste.
We are now concentrating on Component #3 Atraumatic Restorative Treatment. Your donations to the dental team will enable us to place restorations in teeth that do not have to be extracted. Donations will assist in purchasing “tooth filling materials” and the curing lights necessary to harden the filling material. Placing these “temporary” restorations is something that can be easily taught to the doctors and nurses that staff the St. Jules Clinic year round, an added benefit of the ART methodology.
The population of Tibouk have been requesting an alternative to tooth extractions for years. As part of the evolution that is now the IC Haiti Medical/ Dental Team we must increase our efforts to provide oral health care that meets or exceeds all of the mandates put forth by both the WHO and the FDI World Dental Federation.
Please make your donation to our dental team today!