Four new dental clinics in Bolivia

Posted on 24 May 2016

Categories: Dentistes Sans Frontières

In Bolivia, the dental profession currently has only 1.1  practitioner per 1,000 population, compared with 12.6 in Canada. | Photo Roland Filiatrault

Dentistes Sans Frontières (DSF) wants to set up four full dental clinics in Bolivia, so more than 100,000 Bolivians can have permanent access to oral health care.

In Bolivia, the dental profession currently has only 1.1 practitioner per 1,000 population, compared with 12.6 in Canada.

According to the La Paz Health Department, children under 12 have a DMFT (decayed, missing, filled teeth) score of 6.3 on a scale of 0 to 9, which is very high. The score is even higher in the project region at 8.8, which is why it is so urgent to provide permanent oral health care there.

These clinics should be set up over the next five years thanks to the volunteer cooperant-sending program led by Terre Sans Frontières, in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, in which DSF actively participates.

A similar project is already a tremendous success in Tanzania, where DSF set up a full clinic and a laboratory at the hospital in Usangi. As a result, more than 15,000 people living in the region now have permanent access to dental care.

To realize this achievement, dentists and technicians took part in several missions, and, in the summer of 2015, Canadian professionals sent a container filled with various devices, instruments and supplies.

The team at the hospital in Usangi is now entirely autonomous, able to provide oral health care and carry out prevention work with children.

The goal in Bolivia is to ensure the project’s sustainability through ownership by local authorities, oral health educational institutions and private clinics.

Volunteers and equipment wanted

To attain its objectives in Bolivia, Dentistes Sans Frontières needs help from Quebec’s professionals.

DSF is therefore recruiting volunteer dentists for missions in Bolivia and Tanzania over the next four years.

Furthermore, DSF would like to recover devices, instruments and supplies in good condition, which will serve as the foundations on which the four clinics in Bolivia will be built.

To participate in a mission or donate equipment, please contact Petain Saavedra at 450-659-7717 or


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