Visit by AHHA dental team from Australia

This was the fourth visit by AHHA (Australian Health and Humanitarian Aid) to Cambodia. AHHA has three branches – one branch provides free eye surgery (mainly cataract operations) to restore sight for hundreds of patients (many of them blind) from the provinces at the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital (in cooperation with the Khmer Sight Foundation which is based at University of Puthisastra (UP)). The second branch of AHHA is the dental team which helps provide free dental care for disabled and underserved children and adults at the UP Dental Clinic. The third branch provides medical checkups and free medicines for poor people in Phnom Penh and the provinces.

This year a large team of 20 volunteer dentists, dental assistants, and helpers from Australia spent 4 days with UP staff and students. Additional help was provided by the My Village Health Services Association and 8 staff from the National Bank of Cambodia. During the week 505 disadvantaged Cambodians were treated, including about 100 disabled children. 20 of these children with severe dental problems were referred for later treatment under general anesthesia at a private hospital. This treatment will be carried out by two UP volunteer pediatric dentists, with hospital fees paid for by AHHA. Treatment provided during the week included 398 restorations and 372 extractions. The AHHA team provided all the dental materials needed, and this year also donated some valuable pieces of dental equipment including a rotary endodontic machine, local anesthetic syringes, two portable dental units and a portable X-ray unit.

On Thursday the 4 pediatric dental specialists in the AHHA team conducted a half-day conference for students from several Cambodian dental schools, focusing on pediatric dentistry. UP is very grateful for the generosity of AHHA and looks forward to working together with them again next year.