The Pacific Dental Services (PDS) Foundation traveled to the Tigray Region of Northern Ethiopia to provide comprehensive oral healthcare to patients in need in the communities of Mekelle and Hawzen.
From September 13 to September 21, members of the PDS Foundation and Smile Generation-trusted dentists and volunteers served alongside the Dental School at Mekelle University and the Relief Society of Tigray to provide dentistry for 555 patients.
“Every trip back to Ethiopia reminds us how fortunate we are to be able to provide more access to dental care to the patients of Mekelle and Hawzen,” said Kyle Guerin, director of the PDS Foundation and corporate social responsibility.
“It was clear the dental students were eager to work alongside our clinicians, and they were committed to providing comprehensive oral healthcare to every patient they treated. Many patients travelled miles and even days to receive treatment, further underscoring the fact that the need for dental care is global,” Guerin said.
Since its first service trip to Ethiopia in 2014, the PDS Foundation has served more than 11,000 patients and provided more than $7.1 million in donated dentistry. The PDS Foundation says that it understands the critical need for dentistry in Ethiopia. According to the World Health Organization, about 71% of Ethiopians are affected by oral health-related illnesses.
Smile Generation-trusted clinicians and volunteers worked with the Dental School at Mekelle University to provide coaching and training for its dental students. The clinicians provided patients with comprehensive oral healthcare, including cleanings, x-rays, scaling and root planing, restorations, and extractions, if needed.
The PDS Foundation’s trip to Ethiopia is part of the organization’s mission to create opportunities to serve through improving oral healthcare locally, nationally, and internationally.