Dentistes Sans Frontières has now taken root in Bolivia thanks to a partnership developed with the Brothers of Christian Instruction and the Centro de Salud Juan Maria.
Between February 10 and 24 this year, Dr. Luc Veilleux and Dr. Claudine Gauthier, assisted by Ms. Marie-Ève Poulin and Mr. Yvon Quintal, were in El Alto, a slum of 700 000 inhabitants just above La Paz at an altitude of 4000 meters. The doctors were the very first dentists to make use of the dentistry rooms of the Juan Maria Centre after it had been furnished with new equipment; they were astounded at the deplorable state of the Bolivian children’s mouths. They reported observing severe problems such as early tooth decay, multiple dental absces¬ses, fistulas, residual roots, plentiful tartar, gingivitis, resultingfrom poor mouth care and an excessive consumption of sugary foods. In the course of their mission they managed 151 extractions and treated 56 others cases on a total of 192 patients. This first incursion into Bolivia enjoyed the support of Butler and of Québec Dentaire. Guatemala Dentistes Sans Frontières also carried out in January 2002 a first mission to Guatemala. Dr. Anna Reznik’s destina¬tion was the town of Antigua where she treated children of the Nino Obrero School, which offers education to neglected street children. On that mission Dr. Reznik could make use of the chair of the Antigua dental clinic put at her disposal by Dr. Roberto W. Gonzales, who showed great interest in the Dentistes Sans Frontières project. In the course of this mission Dr. Reznik attended to 80 children, doing 13 extractions and 158 repair jobs. Toothbrushos were distributed to the children and some basic formation in oral hygiene was given. Honduras The partnership with the Clinica San Francisco de Asis in the town of Choluteca in Honduras is a healthy one. In fact, two chairs and two units were sent out there in the autumn of 2001, and installed in January by the technician from Patterson, Réal Sylvestre, white Doctors Paul Germain and Roger Lessard, assisted by Michelle Guilbault, attended to 197 patients, carrying out 327 extractions and about one hundred repair jobs. The Clinica can now count on two well ¬equipped treatment rooms which will be available to Dentistes Sans Frontières, allowing them to increase the services offered when they visit the region.