Dental Team to Guatemala
According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, an estimated 58% of Guatemalans live in poverty. The majority of the poorest are indigenous people of Mayan descent living in rural areas. Infant and maternal mortality rates among these groups are alarmingly high. Chronic malnutrition in children less than five years of age ranks as the highest in the Western Hemisphere at 49%. Less than half of Guatemala's rural residents have access to running water, a quarter have electricity at home and less than 10% have modern sanitary facilities.
Dental decay is a serious problem for many Guatemalans because access to dental care is limited and in the rural areas, nonexistent.
The goals of this team are:
- Teach/demonstrate oral hygiene to teachers, students, mothers and children.
- Perform preventative, restorative, and surgical oral interventions on acute cases.
- Participate in community building events, home/school visits.
Those cared for by this team will benefit from relief of acute/chronic pain and learn oral hygiene to help maintain better dental health.