Last month, our Director Dr Franck Page travelled to Fiji to deliver an annual dental clinic in the local community.
Joined by a team of doctors and medical professionals, the team has cultivated a lasting relationship with the Nambila and Mome village for the last six years.
The villages are located on the West side of the island and are close to popular surf destination, Tavarua. It is clear from the photos that the residents of the village look forward to this visit as they have minimal access to dental services any other time of the year. Often presenting with decaying or missing teeth, painful toothaches and other ailments, the residents leave happy and smiling.
Dr Page would like to thank anaesthetist Dr Brenton Coats and Intensive Care Specialist Dr Jason Wright who administered anaesthetic for the patients and provided invaluable help.
Education is a big part of helping patient’s improve their oral health
Often, the cause of these patients’ poor dental health is due to lack of education and poor dietary intake. During the trip, the team, also including Dr Page’s wife and 3 children, visited schools and conducted educational sessions on how to brush well, eat better and improve their overall health.
Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and interdental brushes were donated to the community during these demonstrations so that lasting good oral health habits are established. Dr Page wishes to thank Dr Matt Cardone ( of Tweed Superclinic) and his family for their ongoing generosity in donating equipment and clothing to the community as well as their help not only at the schools over the last few years but also during the clinic days.
Over the last six years, there has been a very noticeable drop in the number of tooth extractions among the villagers.
“When we first came here, we extracted up to 8 teeth on certain patients and this number has greatly reduced recently. Even though we still do a lot of extractions, the overall dental health of the village has improved dramatically,” says Dr Page. “It is so rewarding to know that your work is truly being appreciated and that’s why we give back. There’s nothing better than seeing their smiles double in size when they’re no longer in pain.”
As part of the trip each year, the crew also provides a local man, Rawanga, with much needed heart medications. Rawanga suffered a massive heart attack last year and needed to be resuscitated on the beach at the resort he works at. He now needs constant medication to enable him to continue to work and help support his family. Through the generous donation of these drugs by Mr Clayton Lyndon from Chemmart chemist Pacific Pines, Rawanga continues to live happily.
Each year the visit turns into a big social event and celebration, as the village shows their appreciation for the services they receive. Dr Page and his team has made a lasting relationship with this community and looks forward to improving dental health on the island of Fiji.
Aside from their community service, the team also enjoyed great surfing memories and relaxing away from their typically busy schedules.
If you would like to donate equipment or supplies, or to learn more about how to be involved in the next mission, please email [email protected]