October saw us welcomed to the village of Junbesi.
Dr John Niven and Dr Trang Truong together with Australian and Nepalese assistants held a successful dental camp.
We managed to examine most of the children from Junbesi and Phungmuche schools. We were able to treat nearly all the children from Phungmuche, and a majority of the children from Junbesi who needed dental treatment. Lack of time prevented us from treating all the children.
The pleasing aspect was that the children from classes 7 – 10 showed much improved dental health, this is the result of us seeing these children for the past 5 years. We only had to extract 3 permanent molar teeth from this group, and the 2 children involved had not been seen by us before.
However the younger children are a problem, with large numbers of decayed deciduous teeth, and even decayed erupting permanent teeth. This is a result of poor oral hygiene, continual exposure to large quantities of lollies and sugary snacks, and parental indifference. This is also aggravated by the nuns of Chupten Choling who are over generous in giving out lollies and sugary snacks, even on one occasion to children awaiting dental treatment!
We also treated many villagers as well as patients who had traveled a long distance to receive dental treatment. The nuns from Chupten Choling also came in large numbers, and again we were not able treat them all.
Patients examined 342
Patients treated 251
Teeth filled 402
Teeth fissure sealed 137
Teeth extracted 150
Miscellaneous treatment 5
No treatment required or declined 58
Estimated children not treatment 30
November saw us move on to the Annapurna’s after saying farewell to Dr Truong and we were then joined by Dr Loc Lam and her dental student daughter Laura and husband John.
This trip was a bit more adventurous. After a 4WD trip, we started with a 4 day clinic in the village of Kluie, where we set up in very basic facilities. We then headed to Chomrong, well into the Annapurna’s.
We had a full day of trekking before setting up in some very basic conditions again, in the soon to be opened Chomrong health clinic. After 2 days we trekked back to the health clinic at Ghandruk, and more comfortable conditions. All the equipment was packed on donkeys for these moves, bringing a new meaning to the term “dental caravan”. We treated many patients in all the villages, and wished we had had the opportunity to spend more time in each as there is a great need for dental services in these remote areas.
This part of trip proved exhausting, but to compensate the scenery and the weather were magnificent
Teeth filled 290
Fissure seals 32
Teeth extracted 269
No treatment 24
Overall we had a successful trip, with time to enjoy this fascinating country. We are always made welcome by the very hospitable people of the villages.