After 10 years as a Dentistes Sans Frontières (DSF) and Terre Sans Frontières (TSF) volunteer, dentist Dr. Odino Riendeau is stepping down.
Dr. Riendeau, an active member of DSF’s advisory committee, has completed a dozen missions in the field, during which he not only provided dental care to people who urgently needed it but also contributed to the development of durable structures, making it possible for these services to be offered permanently.
His greatest achievement is the construction of a dentistry clinic associated with Hospital San Juan María Vianney de Ars in Ojojona, Honduras.
“I went to Honduras eight times to treat the poor people living in the mountains of the Ojojona and Santa Ana region. We went deep into the mountains, often without water or electricity. I quickly understood that the only solution was to build a fixed, permanent dental clinic, where Honduran dentists could work 12 months a year—not only two weeks, like Santa Clauses,” explained Riendeau.
Established in January 2008, the clinic is the direct result of his tireless efforts. He raised close to $30,000 through two fundraising campaigns and found invaluable allies, including Sainte-Justine hospital, which donated equipment, Collaboration Santé Internationale, which shipped cargo by container, and Patterson Dental, which provided installation services. Today, two full-time dentists work at the clinic, which has three operating, sterilizing and radiography rooms, a laboratory, and an administration office.
Dr. Riendeau also went to Armenia and Uganda for DSF, taking part in missions that made it possible to treat close to 700 people.
“For 10 years, I’ve provided dental care to poor patients on three continents, giving back what life has given me: generosity,” summed up Riendeau, who also took the opportunity to thank the 100 or so people who were with him in the field.
“Each mission was different; whether I was accompanied by dentists, hygienists, assistants, denturists, dental technicians or optometrists, they were all engaging and happy to help. I would especially like to thank my friends and colleagues Bernard Blain, Claude Talbot, Gilles Pigeon and Serge Langlois of the Association des chirurgiens dentistes du Québec. Also, thank you to the entire Terre Sans Frontières team.”
The entire TSF team thanks you as well, Dr. Riendeau! We take our hats off to you. Your exceptional contribution is a perfect example of the values we defend: solidarity and sharing.