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Will in Haiti

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Oral Care

Every three months, the public health team gathers together to distribute toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss. With 15 public health workers, it takes us a little over an hour to distribute the supplies to the 540 children in the area.


This distribution program, is quite possibly the most difficult and serious of all the distributions when it comes to organizing my workers. Toothbrushes and paste are highly valuable down here. There are families in nearby villages who have never owned a toothbrush and 6-year-old children who've never before brushed their teeth. When I load the public health team up with these supplies it's as if I'm filling their backpacks with money. They work in groups and never alone.


Along with each distribution (every 3 months) comes a refresher course on how to properly brush your teeth. Seeing as how toothpaste is usually our limiting factor, the public health team emphasized the importance of brushing even if you don’t have any paste. They teach about plaque buildup and the importance of our fluoride treatments. The limited floss that we have is distributed only to the teenagers and young adults along with a demonstration on how to use it properly. Thanks to Medical Missions of South Haiti, we have received enough supplies for a third distribution in May.


Once a week, the entire public health team (5 people) along with the new public health students (11 people), head into the village and offer flouride mouth rinses to every person living there. The concentration of the rinse is strong enough to need only one rinse every 1-2 weeks. This is also a voluntary treatment program. Along with the treatment comes an explanation of what it does and a mini-lesson on how to brush your teeth and the importance of taking care of your teeth and gums. No one has yet to turn it down.



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