Dr. Tak Ranuch
The Healthy Kids Cambodia (HKC) project aims to decrease the caries burden among children by bringing together NGOs, public schools, universities, and individuals with the common goal of improving the oral health of Cambodia’s children.
A team of 22 personnel from NYU (a mix of dentists, dental specialists, dental students and support staff) and dental students and dentists from UP joined forces last week at Chaktomok Primary School to provide free dental treatment to over 200 children, under the banner of the HKC project. The NYU team brought a large amount of mobile dental equipment from the US with them. This is the third time that NYU has visited Cambodia to support the project which has the support of the Oral Health Bureau at the Ministry of Health, and the School Health Department at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.
The children in Cambodia have a severe experience of dental caries and most of the children treated last week were experiencing mouth pain or had a cavity in their permanent front teeth. The team from NYU mainly provided the more advanced level of care that some of the children at the school needed, including high quality white fillings, extractions, and root canal treatments. Students from UP had already seen all of the children during 2019 and had provided Level 1 care – including introducing a daily toothbrushing and handwashing program, and applying silver diamine fluoride to “arrest” dental caries in the primary teeth. Last week UP staff and students worked alongside their American colleagues to ensure children received the best care possible. The opening ceremony was attended by Her Excellency Soeur Socheata, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Dr. Sieng Tida and Dr Bethy Turton (One-2-One Cambodia), Dr Hy Bunhay (My Village Health Service Association), Mr So Thy (Principal, Chaktomok Primary School), Prof. Callum Durward (Dean, Faculty of Dentistry at UP), and the dental teams from NYU and UP. UP greatly values its partnerships with the Ministries, NGOs and international groups to promote its mission to help improve the health of underserved Cambodians.