Volunteer Dental Professionals Needed at Refugee Camps in Greece

Photo by Maria Santto, courtesy of the Finnish Red Cross.


Photo by Maria Santto, courtesy of the Finnish Red Cross.

Dentaid is looking for volunteers to provide emergency dentistry at Red Cross refugee camps in Cherso and Nea Kavala in northern Greece. These camps, which each house 4,000 people who have fled the conflict in Syria, offer some basic healthcare, but there is no dental provision.

The charity, which provides dental care and education to vulnerable populations around the world, is assembling a team of dentists, dental nurses, and dental therapists who will fly to northern Greece. Working from a tent and using portable equipment, these professionals will provide pain-relieving dental treatment for the refugees.

“Dentistry is an area where there is a real gap in provision and none of the agencies are providing it,” said Gwen Wilson, a nurse and emergency overseas health delegate with the British Red Cross. “There is a desperate need, and we are keen to get volunteers out there as soon as possible, although they will need to work in the most basic conditions.”

While the Red Cross has been working to improve sanitation in the camps, access to personal hygiene items like soap and toothpaste has been very limited. Many of the refugees have been suffering from dental pain for a long time and have developed complications affecting their health.

“The images we have seen of people in the refugee camps in Greece are deeply upsetting and worrying,” said Andrew Evans, strategic director of Dentaid. “We know there is a huge dental need, and we are pleased that the Red Cross has approached Dentaid so that we can help.”

The first volunteer team will travel to Greece in the coming weeks to establish the first dental clinics in the camps. Dentaid will then send a larger team of volunteers in June. Volunteers will be asked to cover the cost of the trip, while Dentaid will oversee their registration with the Greek authorities. To find out more, email kerry@dentaid.org.

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