Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Rural Nurses Team

One-2-One Cambodia's Rural Dental Nurse Team project is fully funded by CamKids. The team is the first in Cambodia of a female team of four; two Dental Nurses, SreyVon and Sophorn and also two Dental Assistants, Thavery and Sophanmai. The team work on a rotating cycle, with two weeks per month working in rural Cambodia and the other two weeks working for the Seal Cambodia project in primary schools around Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city.
The purpose of this project is to provide dental services to some of Cambodia’s underserved groups and most vulnerable children and their local communities in order to relieve pain, improve their dental health, and give them a better quality of life. The team also provides treatment such as dental extractions, scaling, fillings and sealants (protective coatings on the back teeth to prevent decay).  In addition to providing essential dental care, the team is also equipped to provide simple treatment for common health problems such as lice and scabies and various other skin infections and wounds.  The team is trained in first aid and wound care, and travel with a first aid kit and some medications to treat these conditions.   The dental nurses have a schedule to travel with two dental chairs and the necessary supplies to the rural areas of Kampong Cham, Battambong, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Speu and Sihanoukville.  The team works in the underserved provinces because it is these communities which are in desperate need of these services to improve their quality of life.
The project was built on the philosophy that no children in the community should miss a day of school because of tooth pain.  That is why this project is so important, as it enables children from Cambodia’s poorest communities to get treatment.  In the communities where we have been working for more than a year, we have seen remarkable improvements in dental health and they are now able to live happier and healthier lives.

On a recent trip, the Rural Dental Nurse team spent time at the Krousar Thmey Schools for blind and deaf children, and the New Hope for Orphans (NHO) NGO in Sihanoukvile and Kampong Speu provinces. On this trip a One-2-One Staff member was interviewed.  Her name is Thavery and she is a dental assistant, who works in the One-2-One rural nurse team.  In Phnom Penh her team is helping with the Seal Cambodia project, which is providing preventive dental treatment to 60,000 grade 2 students over three years.  During the other two weeks in the provinces, her team provides dental services to the poorest people in these rural areas.  On the last trip her team went to three orphanages and provided dental treatment to 82 kids, including dental extractions, fillings, sealants, scaling, etc. 

When she first arrived at the orphanage a year ago she said she saw many kids who were unhappy with toothaches and pain. She said the children looked so sad and thin. Her team started with some oral health education for the kids, as well as providing dental treatment. Later they took time to check the children’s hair and skin, and provided lice and scabies medication where necessary. On this trip Thavery said, "we felt happy to see the kids with big smiles and good health. It was good to follow up on the children and reinforce oral health care with tooth brushing with fluoride treatment as well as Sealant protection. It is our privilege to be able to help the underserved Cambodian children".  Thavry’s experiences working with One-2-One Cambodia over the past 3 years has led her to recently start training to become a medical nurse – so she is now only working part-time in the dental project.  In her place we welcome Senghay to the CamKids team.  Senghay is a Dental Assistant with many years’ experience. 

Finally, the CamKids Mobile Dental Team, on behalf of all the children that have been helped by this project, would like to expresses their most heartfelt thanks to CamKids and One-2-One Cambodia.

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