Dental volunteers at the Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

For the third straight year, volunteer dentists have arrived at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II offering free dental services to around 75 students from the San Pedro RC School and surrounding primary schools. The volunteers are from Ontario, Canada and are offering their services from Monday, February 13th through Wednesday, February 15, 2012.

The Smile Center at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II is an extension of the Smile Center located at the Holy Cross Anglican School in San Mateo. The clinic came into existence some three years ago when retired medical practitioner Dr. Louis Lam saw students from the RC school for the first time. He then recommended that the volunteers at the PolyClinic II continue to focus on reaching the RC School students as he noticed a need for the service.

Volunteers at the PolyClinic II are actively teaching the students oral hygiene as well as the importance of preventive care. Dr. Cima of the PolyClinic II told The San Pedro Sun;

“The clinic has been going on for a couple of years since Dr. Lam was here and he recommended that we stick to one specific school, so we decided to continue the RC program. Now that we get more volunteers at the PolyClinic, we can not only assist students from the RC School but New Horizon’s and St. Peter’s as well.”

While the organizers target the RC School, the free services are opened to all schools on the island. At the RC School, organizers visit the school prior to the arrival of the volunteers, screen the students, prioritize their conditions and needs and issue permission slips which must be returned prior to the child receiving dental services. Children with badly decayed teeth are given top priority.

While dealing with kids at risk of having serious decay problems is their priority, the team of two; hygienist, Cassandra Peace-Hall and Dentist Dr. Laurie Houston of Ontario, Canada also performed services such as cleaning, filling and removal.

Organizers would like to extend a big “Thank You” to Exotic Caye Beach Resort for providing accommodations for the volunteers during their stay on Ambergris Caye. Dr. Cima offers dental services at the Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II Monday through Friday 8-5 to all residents of San Pedro, at no cost other than a small donation to the PolyClinic II when possible.

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