Brush up Jamaica

Published: Sunday | August 4, 2013 Comments 0
University of Technology Doctor of Medical Dentistry students (from left) Kyle Murray, Laurian Lue Yen, Andrew Chin, Brittany Chang and Grantley Grant.-Contributed
University of Technology Doctor of Medical Dentistry students (from left) Kyle Murray, Laurian Lue Yen, Andrew Chin, Brittany Chang and Grantley Grant.-Contributed

UTech dental students lead international voluntary outreach project to improve oral hygiene across the country

The campaign also seeks to improve oral-health education in primary and special education schools and to promote the prevention of oral diseases in high-risk populations.

'Brush up Jamaica'

UTech dental students lead international voluntary outreach project to improve oral hygiene across the country

Thousands of persons in western Jamaica stand to benefit from free oral health care during an International Dental Student Voluntary Project to be held at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex from August 12 to 26.

The project is a collaboration forged by dental students from the University of Technology (UTech) and 20 international dental students and dentists from various parts of the world.

The international volunteers will travel from countries such as Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Saudi Arabia and the Czech Republic to be part of this first such project of its kind in the Caribbean.

The two-week project will also include a dental lecture series, outreach health fairs and social activities aimed at introducing international students to dental public health in Jamaica, while they gain clinical experience and provide an outreach service for underrepresented groups.

Services will include cleaning, extractions and temporary restorative treatment.

REACHING OUT TO COMMUNITY

Third-year UTech Doctor of Medical Dentistry student Laurian Lue Yen says the collaborative mission project was spawned from international interest in their ongoing community service outreach projects across Jamaica made popular through their Facebook page.

Lue Yen, who is also chair of the student outreach registered non-governmental organisation Association of Oral Health Advance-ment, says the students are passionate about the project.

According to Lue Yen, since 2011, the dental students have been on a mission "to improve oral health care, access and education in Jamaica".

This is being done through the support of members of the UTech College of Oral Health Sciences, as well as other local dentists and individuals.

EXPANDING ACCESS TO SERVICES

The Association of Oral Health Advancement, which is mentored and advised by the Jamaica Association of Public Dental Surgeons, is a non-profit organisation founded by the UTech dental students.

The students have been leading the Brush Up Jamaica oral-health campaign to expand access to preventative services for school children.

The campaign also seeks to improve oral-health education in primary and special education schools, and to promote the prevention of oral diseases in high-risk populations.

To date, they have treated some 3,350 patients free of cost at children's homes, schools and health fairs across five parishes.

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