In May 2013, Dr. Arab O’Malley accompanied a group of enthusiastic Acadia University students, through a Global Brigades initiative to the Central America country of Honduras. We volunteered our time to provide medical and dental services to a community in need.
Due to the generous support of friends, family and local businesses we were fortunate to transport 47 bags of medical and dental supplies to aid in our mission. Arriving in Honduras, these supplies were organized in stations and medications packaged to distribute to those in need.
In Honduras, which is considered one of the poorest countries in the Northern Hemisphere, the average individual earns $1-2/day. Each day we traveled hours to a mountainous rural community, escorted by military guards, where we would set up a dental and medical clinic in the community’s school. We operated compressors for the dental equipment in challenging conditions using a portable electric generator. Dental services, predominantly extractions, sealants, and limited tooth colored restorations where administered out of a lawn chair and student desks without air or water function, with the only source of illumination being a camping headlight.
The Hondurian patients, some of whom lined up all day in hopes of receiving care, were gracious, respectful and beautiful people who come out wearing their Sunday best. Fortunately, we were able to accommodate most of those who waited to be seen.
Needless to say, the experience was humbling and exhilarating; fueled by their gratitude and genuine appreciation for being relieve of pain.
It was a privilege to have been part of such an initiative. Working with Acadia University students, and my lovely niece Rebecca Carr, was most inspiring. The experience demonstrated to Dr. Arab O’Malley the need for a more effective protocol to administer preventive and restorative care in such rigorous circumstances. Over the next year she will be working with Global Brigades to develop such a protocol.
Dr. Arab O’Malley would like to thank Clayton Park Shoppers Drugmart, Pharmasave and 3M for their generous support in providing the needed dental /medical supplies for our mission.
The above slideshow shares some of the highlights of the mission.