Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day Two: El Patrocinio, Pacaya

Pharmacy is anything but the end of the line. In fact, it is the start of well being, continued peace of mind and a chance to heal. Chris knows this and is proud of the work the pharmacy team does.

Chris Ritskes
Chris Ritskes is the Chief Pharmacist for Lakeridge Health Port Perry. In Guatemala, Chris and his wife Krista are part of the team providing medicines and vitamins to the families in El Patrocinio. Chris is a veteran, having been a part of all the FTC Canada Medical Teams. I have fond memories of watching his tall frame manage the very first clinic we set up in Honduras.

The small truck that had been parked in the living room was moved out to accommodate the pharmacy.  We moved all the boxes in across two or three tables.   Then we moved Chris and the team in.  Every time he crossed from one side of the small room to the other, he had to be conscious of the rapidly sloping roof. Somehow he managed to keep his head bump free despite his 6’ 5” frame.

Michelle and Jack
Dr. Jack Cottrell and his wife, Michelle, have been part of the teams since OCT 08. The team to Nicaragua was the first to include dental. This was a major accomplishment since taking equipment into a mobile clinic can easily done; taking what amounts to an entire dental clinic is quite another thing.

Each day a truck load of equipment makes its way to the next location. Besides the obvious things, like dental tools, all the sterilizing equipment, chairs, lights, cleaning tools, drills, and the list goes on, need to be dropped at the next clinic.

Dr. Jack was reminding me today that one of the major things that can be done in this type of dentistry is to restore self-esteem. Men and women are very conscious of cavities that form in between the front teeth. If allowed to progress, it causes the teeth to go black and they can obviously decay to the point of falling out. That later option, while unpleasant, is a common result of never seeing a dentist.



Two women were in the clinic at the same time lying in chairs across the room from each other. One was 39 and the other was 47. Do some quick math and you find that is 86 years. That collectively, was the number of years they had gone without seeing a dentist ... ever! The younger was suffering advanced gum disease and her front teeth were quite black. The other women featured in the photos (before and after above) had significant blackening between her front teeth. Upon closer inspection the extent of darkness was progressing more profoundly behind her teeth (due to cavities).

Here’s the bottom-line. With a bit of care and extra time, Dr. Jack and the other dentists can essentially bring the decay to a halt. This means their teeth, will mostly likely last for the rest of their lives. White teeth, teeth that will never fall out, create dignity and a sense of confidence. It’s remarkable work the dental team is doing.

1 comment:

Tadakala said...

I would like to appreciate the great work done You.

Thanks for share.

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