Haiti Mission - From the Field

Haiti Mission - From the Field

The annual Haiti Outreach sent four attending dentists and ten dental students to Haiti for one week to provide dental care to underserved children. On average, our dentists and students treat about 1,000 people throughout the week, traveling to 10 different villages and treating as many people as possible each day. The program is sponsored by the Kornberg School of Dentistry Alumni Association and alumnus Dr. Josh Bresler led the mission this year, updating us on the group’s activities throughout the week:

Day 1 – Tuesday, April 25

“Day #1 was a success. Our team split up into 2 groups and traveled an hour into the mountains to visit different villages. Each group saw close to 100 patients and each team member extracted an average of 40 teeth - almost 800 teeth that will not be keeping people up in pain tonight! We treated a few major oral infections and removed a large pyogenic granuloma from a patient who prior to this procedure was embarrassed to smile. The students did great and have already drastically improved their skills and confidence.  Looking forward to tomorrow!”

Day 2 – Wednesday, April 26

“Another successful day in Haiti. We split up into 2 groups today and traveled a little further into the mountains. Each group saw over 100 patients with no complications. Many abscessed teeth today!  We did quite a few I&Ds (incision and drainage) to reduce facial swelling. One 5 year old boy's face was so swollen he could barely open his eyes.  In the U.S., this patient would have gone straight to the OR for immediate surgery and then would have spent 2 days on IV antibiotics.  He was a tough little guy who let us do the work he needed without any sedation. The other group removed a large cyst from a patient’s cheek relieving her pain and 'malformation'. We finished working around 6 p.m. and then played soccer for a while with many of the patients! Looking forward to tomorrow!”

Day 3 – Thursday April 27

“Another successful day in Haiti! The students were awesome.  Their oral surgery skills have dramatically improved since day 1. We saw almost 250 patients today until we had to stop early because of bad weather. A pretty significant storm came in and since we were working under tarps we all got pretty wet while finishing up our last patients. We removed another large tumor from a patient's face today along with hundreds of abscessed teeth and impacted 3rd molars. Tomorrow the group is all working together and we expect a very busy day!”

 

Day 4 – Friday April 28

“Another successful day in Haiti! We traveled 2 hours to the town of Abricots today and we saw 150 patients by 2 p.m. Lots of abscessed teeth and impactions and we did a lingual frenectomy on a teenager with severe tongue-tie who has suffered a speech impairment her entire life. Since we finished early we stopped at the beach for an hour and played soccer with some of the local kids and went swimming in our scrubs! Can't believe tomorrow is our last day....”

Day 5 – Saturday April 29

“A long and successful last clinical day! We split up into two groups and 7 of us traveled to the village of Castillon two hours on bumpy roads to the top of the mountain. Over 100 patients were seen - this is the only dental visit in the village until we return next year. The other group traveled one hour to a very busy post where over 160 patients were seen.”

 

Day 6 – Sunday April 30

“Today we spent most of the morning packing and cleaning up and then spent a couple hours at the beach. Since the restaurant we usually go to on our last night was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, we invited all our Haitian drivers, translators, assistants and friend to the HHF clinic where we grilled a huge dinner to thank them all for their hard work this week. We leave early in the morning for Port Au Prince!”