We have learned of an innovative approach to volunteering. It is Med Arm in Arm, and the basic premise is that the doctors work side by side with local doctors to teach and provide care. The team works with the natives and appropriate government officials. The website is www.medarminarm.org, and the organization is a 501C-3 charity.
Director, Dr. Dorothy Steinert, says the programs operate approximately three times a year in Swaziland as well as Siberia. The team is usually composed of fourteen with five dentists, all of whom pay their own travel expenses. There are 2 A-dec portable units but no x-ray unit yet. The patients are children and the procedures are about two thirds filling large cavities in permanent teeth and one third exodontia. Dental teams have included practitioners from Finland and Russia.
The teams work hard and play hard, with four days working in the clinic and then (in Swaziland) three days on safari, staying in lodges such as Thornybush Game Lodge, .
You can read a first-hand account of a trip to Swaziland with Med Arm in Arm by Dr. Cynthia Copeland of Whole Health DDS of Santa Barbara here:
This is a video of some of their past work in South Africa:
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