November 14, 2017, Nassau, Bahamas: The Sandals Foundation has partnered with the Department of Health and The Ministry of Education in organizing a “Children’s Dental Mission Trip to Exuma”. The team of ten (including a pediatrician and general dentist) will conduct a five day clinic November 13-17, 2017 at the New Exuma Medical Center located in George Town Exuma, Bahamas.
A total of at least 250 students will benefit from this initiative which came about in response to the fact that the island of Exuma no longer has a resident dentist and so the community is experiencing difficulty in having access to dental care. The team of dental hygienists will be working exclusively on children beginning at grade one. It is anticipated that at least 50 children per day will be comprehensively treated with oral hygiene instruction, clinical examinations, fillings, cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, prevent cavities and extractions.
Dr. H. Mitchell Lockhart, Director of Oral Health, expressed her gratitude for the support of the Sandals Foundation and said: “On behalf of the Minister of Health, The Hon. Dr. Duane Sands, Permanent Secretary and Ms. Rena Glinton, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Education, I would like to convey our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Sandals Foundation for granting six rooms to accommodate the dental team to serve the people and especially the children of Great Exuma.”
The Sandals Foundation, which seeks to invest in Caribbean communities in the areas of education, the environment, youth and health, also supports other dental care initiatives such as the Great Shape 1000 Smiles Program which brings dental team volunteers to assist in the underserved communities of St Lucia and Jamaica. Executive Director of Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke commented, “Dental health is important to a person’s overall health and this is especially true in those critical years of childhood. By promoting good dental hygiene now, we hope these students will be empowered to reap the benefits of having healthy teeth and gums in the years to come.”