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Volunteer Camp follow up

Thursday, May 1, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephanie Wilhelm
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Academy of Dentistry International (ADI)
President-Elect visits Volunteer camp in Dominican Republic

During the Easter week, ADI President-Elect Ramon Baez DDS, MPH , HFADI and his spouse Martha Baez RDH, MPH, HFADI, Associate Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School joined the ADI volunteer camp at ILAC, Institute of Latin American Concern in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.

Thereby they met with director Radalme Pena, Executive Director and with Dra Gisselle Tati, leader of the medical programs and Rita Rosario, staff dentist as well as the medical coordinator Leopoldo Carreterro. Radalme Pena gave an introduction to the work of the Center, which is well known in the country as “La Mísion.”  President-Elect Ramon Baez DDS presented an orientation about the background, aims and objectives of the Academy and described examples of projects developed in various regions of the world. Special emphasis was made on the importance of oral health promotion and disease prevention programs. Mrs. Baez explained the School Based Prevention Program she has directed as part of the dental school activities in underserved areas of the city of San Antonio, Texas.  The program has been very effective and has been in place for twenty-seven years. She suggested the possibility of developing similar programs targeting elementary school children in this region of Dominican Republic.

This resulted in a lively professional conversation which contained very interesting aspects for both sides. After Lunch together with the students, the leader of the volunteer camp showed one of the clinical working places at Batey Libertad, a very poor housing area for Haitian Workers in the Dominican Republic. The cooperator of ILAC in this area, Pepito Milandez Estache gave an introduction of the situation in these areas.

Deeply impressed and overwhelmed the tour continued finally to Punta Rucia, which lead to another impression of the island. Here, at the upper north of Hispaniola is exactly the place, where Christopher Columbus set his feet onto the “new world” more than 500 years ago. Today, the northwest of the Dominican Republic is sparsely populated and left naturally as it might have been in those days. Picturesque fishing villages, where time has stood still and wide, pristine sandy beaches were the other impression of this popular holiday island.

But back to the capital Santo Domingo, other meetings had been waiting for the team. Especially future projects that could be implemented to improve oral hygiene of the population.

Finally, one can say that there were very successful weeks with many new impressions, successful completion of individual projects and very positive indications for further activities.


Academy of Dentistry International®
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