Something to Smile About: Dentaid’s donation expands CCF’s healthcare support

Toothache is never fun anywhere, but arguably it’s less fun in Cambodia than almost anywhere else. This isn’t a country which spends a lot on healthcare. According to the World Health Organisation (2006) the US annual healthcare spend per head of population is in the region of $6,500. Australia’s and the UK ‘s spend sit around $3000 each – Australia’s being a bit over and the UK’s a little under. The health spend per head for Cambodia is about $167 – and not a lot of that goes on dentistry. So its unsurprising that the average 5 year old child has 8 – 10 decayed teeth and that the typical reaction to dental trouble is to wait until pain is unbearable before seeking help. Nor does seeking always result in finding and finding dental assistance doesn’t mean that you can afford it. All these facts combine and conspire to make good oral care and health accessible only to the lucky few.

But now, thanks in great part to the generous donation of a fully equipped one-chair dental clinic from UK-based Dentaid (www.dentaid.org ), one of the leading international oral health charities in the world, CCF children and families in the dump villages around the CCF Community Centre are becoming members of this fortunate band.

Staffed by 2 newly-qualified, keen and able young dentists and supported and overseen by professional staff, the CCF dental clinic is currently gearing up to deal with the dental needs of the desperately poor in the area. This step-up in CCF’s healthcare program isn’t about just making life more comfortable or brightening smiles. It’s about tackling the sheer misery and the endemic, life-sapping problems that often accompany bad oral health and not just through treatment but by education too. Toothache and all its associated problems will still happen of course but thanks to Dentaid and the healthcare program they won’t have to be faced alone. Quality help will be at hand and that’s definitely something to smile about.

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