RMF Supports Free Dental Camp

Event covered by Kantipur Daily

As part of our free health camps initiative in Nepal, RMF continues to provide free dental exams and treatments to needful communities in rural and disaster-affected regions of the country.

In collaboration with Palungtar municipality, Nepal Dental Science Hygienist Association, and Global Gorkha Society Network, RMF Nepal supported a free dental health camp which took place over two days at two locations within Palungtar municipality, Gorkha. The first day of the camp was conducted on September 7, 2018 at Bhrikuti High School in ward no. 4, and the second day was conducted on September 8, 2018 at Sharada High School in ward no. 2.

12 medical volunteers, including 2 dental surgeons, served at the camp. Dental screenings, scaling, extractions, fillings, health education, consultations, and referral services were provided. Free medicines, toothbrushes, and toothpaste were distributed. During the camp 312 patients were screened. 122 of those patients received scaling services, 82 patients received dental  extractions, and 74 patients received fillings. 52 patients attended an education session on proper brushing techniques, and toothbrushes and toothpaste were distributed to these students free of charge.

A health reporter from Kantipur Daily national newspaper was present at the dental camp. She interviewed several patients and dental health workers at the camp and published an article which is available online. You may view the original article on the publication’s website, in PDF form at the bottom of the page, or read the translation below.


“Distressed by Severe Tooth Decay”

“I could neither drink tea nor could I eat comfortably, it is painful all the time,” said 75-year-old Hira Devkota, holding her cheeks with her hand. She further said that she had sensitive teeth with which she could not chew her food, and now she is dependent on liquid food.

She had only few fragments of her teeth left in her mouth. Her gums were badly infected and filled with pus. She said, “It aches like I’d be better off dead, I feel nauseated all the time, and due to the foul breath I don’t feel like joining in gatherings, even with my family members.” When the dentist examined her mouth, there were only stubs of her teeth left, as her teeth had decayed. The condition necessitated extracting all the remaining teeth, but as she had high blood pressure, it was not possible at that moment. This made Hira much more anxious.

In the free dental health camp organized at Palungtar and Khoplang in Gorkha by Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) Nepal in association with Palungtar municipality on Saturday, most of the cases reported tooth decay. Patients from the young to the elderly had complaints of cavity and gum problems.

Mira Kumari Ranavat, 45, a local of Panirtar who pulled out her own tooth during pregnancy said, “Dental pain is far more unbearable than labor pain.” She visited the health camp with many decayed teeth.

Dentists say plucking out the teeth is the last option. “This is the result of longtime negligence,” said Aastha Bista, a dentist. “As a door is necessary for the safety of a house, dental hygiene is necessary for overall hygiene,” Bista said. Patients from urban areas visit the doctor soon after they face problems, but as people from rural areas go to health centers only after the pain is unbearable, there is no other option than to pluck out the teeth, according to the dentists. Experts say, if neglected, dental problems also lead to heart and abdominal problems. Since rural people use tobacco more habitually, they also report problems such as black spots on the teeth, swelling gums, and pyorrhea. In the rural districts, many children grow up with dental problems, as their parents think that milkteeth will take diseases out with them when they fall out. But dentist Roshani Shrestha says it is not as the parents believe. Unplanned extraction brings problems such as irregular dental appearance.

People in rural areas still go to witch doctors to prevent dental pain. Many still use clamps and pliers to pull out teeth, which, according to experts, is not appropriate in any way. This is because people still do not take dental problems seriously. Even the health centers and hospitals in rural areas do not have good dental facilities. People don’t even know that they need to brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and visit the dentist every six months.

Dental hygienist Michel Devkota shared, “The government needs to establish hospitals for dental services in all seven provinces,” adding, “Patients would get more care if at least one dental assistance post were established at every health post.”

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