Dental care for refugees and asylum seekers has been largely overlooked during the refugee crisis. Recognizing the urgent need for dental care at Obrenovac Reception and Transition Centre, RMF Balkans launched the Mobile Dental Clinic Project, and the clinic was opened for service on July 3, 2018. This is the first and only mobile dental clinic in Serbia. The clinic contains high-quality equipment, including a dental chair, autoclave, and all dental instruments, and the team of 1 dentist and 1 dental nurse have been thoroughly trained and prepared for the fieldwork.
Our dental team performs an average of 20 to 30 procedures per day. All basic dental procedures are performed, including preventive examinations for the detection of dental disease, tooth repair, fillings, nerve inflammation treatment, periodontitis treatment, extractions, and more. In addition to providing excellent dental health services, the dental team’s goal is to inform and educate project beneficiaries on the importance of oral hygiene. The staff is employed through the Obrenovac Health Centre, and RMF Balkans finances their salaries, dental equipment, materials, and medicines. With this project, we have achieved great cooperation with the government sector. In individual cases, RMF Balkans also provides basic dental care to the local population employed at Obrenovac Transit Centre.
Since the opening of the mobile dental clinic, the RMF dental team has seen over 300 patients each month and performed an average of 20 to 30 dental procedures and interventions per day. As there is no alternative option for refugees to receive most curative and preventive dental procedures, RMF Balkans will continue to offer its services to refugees regularly from the mobile dental clinic. We will also continue to educate dental patients on oral hygiene and its importance for overall health.
- Refugees and migrants do not have access to comprehensive dental care because the Serbian health system limits nonnationals to receiving only emergency dental interventions.
- Limited sanitation facilities and knowledge of oral hygiene also put refugees’ and migrants’ oral health at risk.
With the opening of the RMF’s mobile dental clinic, refugees and migrants at Obrenovac Transit and Reception Centre now have access to comprehensive dental care. This is not only a step towards improving the overall health status of refugees and asylum seekers, but also a step towards the better integration of refugee and migrant populations. Furthermore, the Mobile Dental Clinic Project has proven to be one of the key projects in bringing together the Ministry of Health and non-governmental sector and has helped to ensure close cooperation.
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