It is a long standing tradition for UCC Undergraduate Dentistry students to undertake Dental Outreach in the summer of their 4th year. UCC dental students have previously worked in destinations such as Ghana (2014) and Illoilo, Phillipines (2015) and Kathmandu, Nepal (2016).
Dental Outreach is a lifetime experience that enables students to rediscover Dentistry and focus primarily on the oral issues that many communities worldwide face due to limited access to dental care and education. Outreach offers students an opportunity to use our education to benefit those most in need of our care. A big thank you to our school, from lecturers to supervisors and lab technicians, for instilling in us the dental skills and knowledge to make this all possible.
This year’s Dental outreach will be going back to Nepal and we will be working in collaboration with Around Good People – a community based, non profit organization.
Nepal, being one of the most poorly resourced countries in the world, has only 319 dentists for a population of 29.5 million. People will commonly travel to attend outreach clinics for days with chronic dental pain and infection that they have previously had little or no access to treatment for.
A group of 4th year dental students will be travelling to a rural village near Pokhara/Kathmandu in July 2017 to provide preventative and restorative treatment under the supervision of professional dentists. The outreach programme will also train local youth volunteers in providing basic oral healthcare and education, ensuring a context of oral health remains the community long after the programme finishes.
Fundraising and Sponsorship
We are currently fundraising to raise finances for the project, and wish to invite you to contribute towards this worthy cause. We are raising money towards the cost of dental materials and facilities, patient administration, visa, and subsidized travel to Nepal.
Thank you to anyone who has supported us thus far in our bid to fundraise for our 2017 Outreach programme. Your generosity so far has blown us away and we are very grateful to you all!
To Sponsor the Group:
Please follow our Dental Outreach Facebook page to keep updated with our latest fundraising endeavours!
If you would like to sponsor our 2017 group, please do so by visiting our gofundme page!
2016 Kathmandu, Nepal
2015 Iloilo, Philippines
Dental outreach 2015 took place in Iloilo, Philippines with an organization called Work the World. The four of us had the opportunity to practice dentistry in an underprivileged community where the average person makes 200 pesos, or around 4 Euros, a day. In the mornings each of us were sent to separate clinics where we worked one-on-one with a dentist employed by the government. In the afternoons, we were sent to public schools where we engaged in oral health instruction, dental exams, fluoride varnish application, and pediatric extractions. We also visited a local orphanage where we donated supplies and spent time with orphaned children and homeless mothers. We were placed in a house with 30 other students from different disciplines including dentistry, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and physiotherapy and had the unique opportunity of meeting dental students from Scotland, the UK and Canada. We loved every minute spent in the Philippines as we learned about Filipino culture and cuisine, traveled by the famous jeepneys and made lifelong friends!
2014 Ghana, Africa
In July 2014, a group of 4th Year Undergraduate UCC Dental students travelled to Ghana on a Dental Outreach Project with Projects Abroad.
This project involved many aspects of oral hygiene and care. We screened over 4,500 children and adults over the course of 2 weeks. For those that needed treatment, we completed a wide range of procedures from fillings and extractions to surgical procedures. This work was carried out at a number of underprivileged schools and an orphanage in the Kumasi region. We were also fortunate to be able to use the facilities of a local dentist for those patients who required more complex treatment. Along with the treatment carried out, we educated these children on the importance of oral health and how to keep their mouths healthy.
Given the nature of the outreach project, we saw many oral conditions in their advanced stages, as many patients either could not afford regular dental check-ups or there are too few dentists available.