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17 September 2018

R.O.C.S. takes part in the International Volunteer Mission in Jamaica

The mysterious word ‘Jamaica’ conjures up visions of a distant tropical island of paradise with snowy beaches and impenetrable jungle. Although there are beaches and jungle the real life is far from paradise. Jamaica is a relatively poor country with less developed healthcare industry and large percentage of very poor people. There is a fairly acute problem with dentistry: just 70 dentists per 2.8 million inhabitants. Most of dentists provide paid services only, and 80% of people can hardly afford to make use of such services. Admittedly, there are state hospitals but appointments are booked for the next few years. “Do you want to have your teeth attended? We may set up your appointment for 2020”. That is why many people are deprived of timely assistance, and volunteer missions appear to be the only solution.

This year the international volunteer mission was organized under the auspices of IADS (International Association of Dental Students) and JADSS (Jamaican Association of  Dental Surgery Students). It brought together doctors, students, attending physicians from Slovakia, Slovenia, Germany, Finland and Russia to help Jamaicans in need. Mobile dental clinics equipped with all the necessary equipment for healing dental caries, dental extraction and hygiene were established in Montego Bay and Falmouth under the project. Of course, pain management and relief is important but preventive care is equally important to improve dental health of public. That is why apart from treatment volunteers taught children and teens how to maintain hygiene and gave them R.O.C.S. personal hygiene products.

Each day more than 100 people received necessary help. And over 2 weeks of the project assistance was given to more than 800 people. The project was supported by various international organizations, the Ministry of Health of Jamaica and commercial companies.

R.O.C.S. encouraged the initiative and sent a Russian volunteer to take part in the project as well as provided its products and shared experience in raising public awareness and training population.

In summer 2019 a more ambitious and long-term project will be launched. Keep track of news updates on Facebook page of International Association of Dental Students -IADS- and participate in the project next year.

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