In the spring of 2010, the late Dr. Tom Graham introduced Wisdomtooth to the Ladakh Nuns Association (www.ladakhnunsassociation.org). Dr. Graham had been working for year with different organizations (Lions Club, and Global Dental Relief Project) providing care to the people of Ladakh. He saw an opportunity to improve the sustainability of the dental care provided by training the association’s Amchis (Tibetan medical providers).
Dr. Doten met with the venerable Dr. Tsering Palmo, founder and head Nun of the association that summer. A Tibetan medical doctor, Dr. Palmo saw the benefit of providing dental training for her fellow Amchis. Dedicated to providing care to the poorest and most remote Ladakhi communities, the Amchis typically go throughout Ladakh in small groups for a few days at a time providing for the health and spiritual needs of the people. With the addition of dental training, they will be of even greater benefit.
Severe flooding in Ladakh the summer of 2010 delayed plans of four volunteers. Training began in earnest may of 2011 with Dr. Judith Hall laying a foundation of knowledge and a few practical preventative clinical skills that the Amchis can immediately utilize during their field trips. Two more volunteers are scheduled for October and November 2011 to continue training.
As with all of our projects, the health workers will be taught basic dental disease etiology (cause), diagnosis, sealant placement, and deep cleaning. As their skills develop, we will introduce more curative treatments such as fillings and extractions. Wisdomtooth continues to seek dentists and hygienists to continue the Amchis' training.
We hope that you will see the value this project provides, and choose to make the journey of a lifetime to have an experience of a lifetime. It will surely change the way dental care is delivered in one of the most remote and intriguing places on the planet.
Manipal University-EDSA June 2012 Project
Manipal University and the European Dental Student Association (EDSA) have committed to provide 20-25 volunteers the summer of 2012. This will be a multi-site project that involves collaboration with the Ladakh Nuns Association, local schools, and community health workers. We anticipate sending groups fo 3-6 volunteers to up to six remote villages for two weeks. This special summer project will have three goals: continue Amchi training, provide direct care to the people fo Ladakh's most remote communities, and identify and train local community members how to provide basic dental care. Teams will be arranged in groups lead by one experienced dentists and multiple dental students from Europe and India. Depending upon the needs and particular circumstances of the local communities, the teams will provide multiple levels of care. As with all Wisdomtooth projects, or primary mission is to train local people how to provide dental care so that after our volunteers have left, the community continues to have access to care. Due to the special nature of this MU-EDSA project, we will also provide extensive direct care, with an emphasis on education and prevention.
If interested in helping with this project please download this application and send it to us at email@example.com. It is certain to be an enjoyable and rewarding adventure.