Almost 500 treated in 1st Sandals Dental Program
The Sandals Foundation and Great Shape Inc. has wrapped up a comprehensive two-week dental outreach program in Saint Lucia, providing muchneeded free dental care for approximately 500 men, women and children from both the urban and rural areas of the island.
Executive Director of Great Shape Inc. Joseph Wright said the team saw great results from its first visit here and predicted much greater impact in future visits.
“Our mission has always been to empower the masses through free access to quality health care and the Sandals Foundation has gone above and beyond the call to ensure that we are able to provide such a service.
“We are very happy to have brought this program to another island and we hope we are able to make it an annual one here as well,” Wright said.
The program opened the doors for treatment on July 27, 2015 at the Marchand Combined School where a team of 25 volunteer dentists and other volunteers saw and treated a total of 250 people from within and around the Castries community.
Director of Programs for the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke said the overwhelming successes of the program in its first year here could add considerable support to the initiative’s possible return in 2016, where the intention would be to increase the numbers reached and possibly increase the number of communities penetrated.
“We are very happy about the numbers this year, and like all things new we had expected there to be teething pains with this initial program. However, the program went off without a hitch and we are looking forward to many happy returns,” Clarke said.
During the exercise, members of Saint Lucia’s dental community were exposed to a series of training seminars held to broaden their knowledge base on new and improved techniques and technologies in first-world dental care.
On Monday August 3, a dental team of about 20 doctors and other volunteers took the program to the Canaries community with a clinic at the Canaries Primary School. The team treated exactly 174 patients with complex and simple cases.
The Sandals Foundation and Great Shape Inc. has partnered on its dental outreach program for several years in Jamaica. This is the first year the program has been introduced to another island.