Cavities are the most prevalent chronic disease among children in Armenia. Empirical studies have documented that: 1) the average 5-year old child in Armenia has eight decayed, missing or filled primary teeth; 2) between the ages of 14 and 17 years old, the average child continues to experience dental decay at the rate of one permanent tooth per year; 3) almost 90% of all 12-year-old children in Armenia have cavities; and, 4) only 20% of Armenian 18-year-olds still have all of their teeth. Unquestionably, dental hygiene problems are more problematic among institutionalized children.
To address these dental issues, SOAR’s Dental Fund was created in September 2015 and is overseen by a team of dental experts.
- Dental clinic construction. SOAR constructs and outfits dental suites and clinics to offer the orphaned children in Armenia consistent and quality access to dental care. A dental suite was renovated at Kharberd Orphanage and a dental clinic was constructed at the Our Lady of Armenia (OLA) Center in Gyumri. The Gyumri Clinic provides free dental services to the elderly and all orphaned children free of charge.
- Recruiting dental professionals to volunteer at the OLA Summer Camp. The OLA Camp is held in Tsaghgadzor annually for approximately 12 weeks. During each of four (4) 16-day sessions, approximately 200 orphaned and otherwise underprivileged children visit the Camp. Overseen by SOAR-Detroit, we actively seek dentists and dental assistants who are able to volunteer for at least one week each summer.
- Procure dental supplies. Our Dental Fund experts identify outlets for humanitarian donations of dental supplies. When appropriate, these goods are procured and shipped to Armenia.
DENTAL FUND UPDATES
Residents from Warm Hearth receive dental care
After the delay in services due to Covid, the clinic is back in operation and serviced 46 patients for free in November, including 10 from Artsakh.
During the month, 67 patients received free dental care
During the month, 56 patients received free dental care
Continuing work at the SOAR Dental Clinic
One of the main missions provided through the SOAR Dental Clinic is to raise awareness among disadvantaged children about proper care of their teeth and how to protect and to keep their teeth strong and healthy. Also to visit their dentist for regular checkups.
With that in mind, the dental team decided to organize visit on February 26, 2018 for a checkup to the children at their care facilities. The first facility was Nansen boarding school in Gyumri.
After a presentation by the dental hygienist about this topic the doctor examined 56 children (During the exam, the teeth were cleaned, flossed, and checked for cavities) and made a list of further needs of the children. Shortly after the toothbrushes and relevant items were distributed to the children.
A huge shipment of medical and dental equipment and supplies through Project Cure!