The School Dental Hygiene Program is a vital service offered by St. Joseph Clinic in Haiti. Launched at the beginning of the 2016 school year, it teaches children the importance of brushing their teeth, and how to properly brush. Since then, the Program has expanded to include more schools, and currently has 50 students enrolled. Preventive dental care is critically important in rural Haiti, where the simplest tooth infection can become very serious, even deadly.
During the holidays, the Program hosted a Christmas party (fét) that was filled with laughter and joy as students engaged in a number of activities led by the Clinic’s Dental Assistants. The children were quizzed on information they had been taught about plaque, proper mechanics of brushing their teeth, frequency of brushing, and foods that cause tooth decay.
They also learned a new dental hygiene song, which they sang from the tops of their lungs. The excitement, energy and vibrancy each student exuded was palpable!
We thank Dr. Joseph Cavallo who launched this school program in response to the need he saw during one of his volunteer dental trips with us. We thank him and our other volunteer dentist, Michael Morch, for traveling to Thomassique for over 20 years to provide dental care for villagers who had never seen a dentist before.
We also thank the others who keep this Program running: our two Clinic Dental Assistants, Mis Pierre Lovely and Mis Beligoutte Lovelie, along with our Global Health Fellows Anael Rizzo, Jason Piersaint and Ruth Dunn, and those who have supported the program with generous donations to Medical Missionaries.