Dental Aid Project

Project Cambodia: Dental Aid Project

Project Cambodia: Dental Aid is a humanitarian programme which delivers basic dental services to the children who live in Cambodia’s 4th largest city, Kampot. (population:33000)

History:

Project Cambodia was established by the Buddhist Library with the early goals to provide safe drinking water and education to the children attending  Kbal Romeas Primary school in Kampot, which has now extended to over 200 schools in the Kampot area.

Dental aid is an important component of humanitarian care in Cambodia because of the severe lack  of dental professionals and after the Pol Pot regime.  After 1979, there were only 16 dentists and no oral surgeons left in Cambodia.

In 2009, an Australian dentist Dr Cecilia So met with the Chairman of Trustees for the Buddhist Library, Paget Sayers, and both saw the need for oral health care for Cambodian children, which started the Project Cambodia Dental Clinic. The aim was to provide free preventative and primary care to the children in the Kampot Province.

     
A student being treated at one of our dental clinics Our clinics are open not only for school children, but also for needy monks.    

Slowly as Cambodia rebuilds herself, the International University dental school is training some of Cambodia’s new dentists.  The new generation of dentists are kept busy fighting a very high incidence of rampant caries and chronic periodontal diseases due to easy access to confectionaries despite the chronic poverty of the citizens. It was with this understanding that led Cecilia to create Project Cambodia’s Dental Aid Project.

Cecilia has led several expeditions of volunteer Australian and overseas dentists and University of Sydney (BDent3) students for short “Tours of Duties” to Cambodia. She has raised donations to fund not only the expeditions,  but also instruments and equipments for the establishment of a fully functional dental clinic. Budddhist Library has built the purpose built clinic with 2 dental chair units. The Buddhist Library supported this joint venture by providing  the building for the clinic site, and took on the task of providing  continued funding  for materials and staff.  There are now five permanent dental staff, and the project has  outgrown it’s original clinics  with the addition of a  new Kim Yon dental clinic  in Kampong Speu, 1.5 hours outside Phnom Phen, and also a mobile clinic  which provides access for children in remote areas.

Volunteer dentists in one of our dental clinics. Our Mobile Dental clinic treats children in outlying schools and transport children to our other clinics. Patients on a trailer to the clinic. A student demonstrating how to clean teeth.

The Tours of Duties:

Since 2009, the travelling dental teams have worked in Kampot and the surrounding communities. They have delivered preventative dental education and oral hygiene kits (toothbrushes and toothpaste) to the school children. Many of the children have never owned a toothbrush previously.

They also provided urgent and emergency dentistry to relieve the pain of many primary school children. This was often by extraction of abscessed teeth and tooth conservation when possible. Over 300 children per month are being treated since the dental aid commenced in Kampot.

The travelling dental teams have been self-funded volunteers who also received generous support by Dental Suppliers such as Whiteglo, GC, Halas, and DHL and Critical Dental who have helped with the shipping transportation of the dental chair units.

 

The Future:

Project Cambodia’s Dental Coordinator, Dr Cecelia So, would welcome volunteer dentists and dentistry students who would like to continue this humanitarian service to the children in Kampot and other towns in Cambodia. It is an honour to serve the disadvantaged, providing urgent and emergency relief of pain dentistry, restoring function, smiles, speech and self esteem to the children. Frankly, they don't get a decent job with a bad teeth, a more important consideration!  Click here for volunteer information.

Project Cambodia-Dental Aid would welcome monetary and equipment contributions with all monies used for the benefit of the Cambodian children’s oral health.

Click for donation information.