Dentists Sought For Kokoda Villages
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Prior to 2007, four annual visits to the villages of Menari, Kagi, Abouari, Kokoda, Kebarra, Waju, Sairopi, Gona and Buna were carried out under the auspices of Rotary by Gunnedah dentist, Dr Gerry Bartlett, assisted by volunteers from many walks of life. A major aspect was to meet incumbent Health Workers and provide instruction in preventive care as well as equipping them to apply preventive restorations using A.R.T. with hand instruments.
They were shown how to perform extractions, if unavoidable, especially where the only alternative would involve the patient and family making a two-three-day walk in each direction.
After a pause of two years brought about by Cyclone Guba in November 2007, when the roads of Oro Province suffered the loss of about thirty bridges, together with much loss of life and destruction of building, a resumption is planned for three to four weeks in August/September, the least rainy part of the year. We already have some volunteers, some with Chairside experience but we need more dentists, for this year and for future visits to the descendants of WWII's Fuzzy-Wuzzy Angels who helped to protect Australia against invasion.
Using a solar-powered operatory, it has been possible to alleviate many chronic problems and often by early intervention reducing the severity of an orthodontic challenge while an in-the-field crown or bridge might greatly improve a person's smile and even their marriageability!
As with last year's planned visit, ordinary physical fitness will suffice, since the team will travel by air or by road - with security provided by guides employed by Rotary groups over the past ten years. Until such time as graduates from the University of PNG Dental School in Port Moresby are encouraged to visit the more remote parts of this mountainous country of few roads, here is a splendid adventure on offer.
For all the previous expeditions, Trade support has been generously provided by Henry Schein Halas, GC Corporation, Ivoclar and Trolldent. Participating dentists should bring their favorite instruments and materials and to establish dental care at Health points, donations of used instruments, especially syringes and extraction forceps are welcome from the profession at large.
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