With the construction of our charity dental clinic project at Arayat, Pampanga almost done, and set to open late February 2024, the Foundation staff has initiated yet another one.
The next project “on the burner” will be at the Sto. Niño National High School at Iriga, Camarines Sur. The project was initiated in response to an urgent appeal from Jonathan Cabañes, a faculty member in charge of health issues at the school.
Sto. Niño National High School is a public secondary school located at the south of Iriga City, Camarines Sur, Philippines. The school catered the children of poor families, mostly are children of the farmers, construction workers, farm laborers, house maids, and other meager earning jobs. There are also Indigenous People (IP) learners in the school.
Sto. Niño National High School has a total population of 624 Junior High School and 124 Senior High School students and is continuously growing as evidenced by the 46% increase in the enrollment in the Senior High School over last school year’s enrollment. Out of this population, the BMI Baseline Result revealed that 8% are wasted and severely wasted and 15% are stunted. A survey was conducted, and the data showed that most of the students cannot even afford to have a simple but nutritious meal for their lunch. Thirty-Five per cent (35%) of the students revealed that they buy a One-Peso chitchiriya (junk foods) for their viand coupled with a two-Peso soup offered by the karinderiya (store selling lunch) outside the school campus.
Even worse is because of poverty, dental and oral hygiene are being neglected hence frequent cases of toothaches, dental carries build-up and other dental and oral related issues becomes evident. While we have our division dentist, her service is only limited to dental extraction because we lack the dental chair set in our school.
The result of this study can now be linked to the poor academic performance of the students.
The Foundations’ decision to respond positively to the urgent appeal of Mr. Cabañes was done after the needs of the school were verified by Foundation through their representative based in Metro Manila, Dr. Amry Jane Chavez-Noza. Dr. Chavez-Noza investigated the situation and her reports indicated that indeed help is needed for the area.
The project, although very modest, consisting of a mere 37 square meter in size, when done will serve over 800 students from the high school as well as two nearby elementary schools within the immediate area.
Arrangements had been made by the school administration for a rural health dentist to man the dental clinic at least two days a week. They also partnered with the Local Government Unit through the City Health Office and Provincial Government Unit through the Provincial Health Unit with regards to the supply of dental medicines and supplies.
The same rural dentist visits the school monthly, but due to lack of equipment, she can only do dental extractions. The school administration is hoping with the clinic being build, she can do more procedures including oral prophylaxis, fluoride applications and restorative procedures and help reduced the dental related issues amongst the students that is ultimately connected to their poor performance in school.
The school administration will allot space at their present building by expanding their present
improvised dental room to create the necessary space required for the dental clinic and possibly a small medical office. They will also seek funding for the remodeling of the space to build the dental per the specifications of the Dentistry For Every Village Foundation.
The foundation will provide the necessary dental equipment to allow the dentist to enhance her services.
The Foundation recently initiated a fundraising drive to seeking funds to purchase the necessary dental equipment for the project.
Hopefully, construction of the project gets started by the late second quarter of 2024 with its opening projected for February 2025.