THE DENTAL HEALTH CRISIS
GOOD DENTAL HEALTH = OVERALL BETTER HEALTH
Dental Care is more than having straight white teeth!
Did you know that Dental Caries (also known as tooth decay or dental cavities) is the most common non - communicable disease world wide?
Solar Smiles Dental Charity has been informed by a reliable source that the 2018 annual budget for health in Timor Leste was $61 billion dollars for a population of 1.3 billion.
This equals just USD $42/ per person per year compared with Australia's AUD$7400 per person. With Dental only receiving at best 5% of this budget we can roughly say that each person is allocated just USD$2 per person per year for their dental health care.
With no reticulated water supply to add fluoride to, this dramatically increases the instances of dental decay and disease in the community with little to no help for the communities.
The other major issue is the lack of qualified dentists in Timor Leste, particularly working in the Districts. Currently there are 13 qualified dentists in the country with only 3 working outside of Dili in the Districts. Solar Smiles is very fortunate to have Dr Inda Dias (BDS - Philippines) who works at the Maubisse Referral Hospital working alongside the Solar Smiles teams when our Australian dentists are in country.
As a positive there are around 150 qualified Dental Nurses in Timor Leste however most are unemployed due to their Timor Leste University qualification not being recognised and their only ability to gain employment is with visiting NGO's like Solar Smiles. From January 2019, Solar Smiles will be giving full time employment to Savio who will be based in Maubisse delivering simple preventive and clinical treatment to the community. We are grateful to Dr Inda who is help mentor Savio in between Australian team visits.
Savio's initial job will be focussed around education and prevention for the communities. Poor oral hygiene is a risk factor for many diseases and can even lead to death. By reducing decaying teeth, calculus and periodontal disease we can dramatically decrease the instances of:
Heart Disease & Stroke Risk
Male & Female Fertility
Did you know?
Men with gum disease are:
49% more likely to get Kidney Cancer
54% more likely to get Pancreatic Cancer
30% more likely to get Blood Cancer
Severe dental caries is a frequent cause of absenteeism at school & work. An association between dental caries and undernutrition in children has been reported in some low - middle income countries.
Solar Smiles Dental Charity, whilst working in developing countries, intends to follow the objectives set out by the World Health Organisation in it's paper 'Sugars and Dental Caries' (WHO/nmh/nhd/17.12 published in October 2017).
Through Rotary Australia Community Services (RAWCS), Solar Smiles Dental Charity is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission ABN 37 739 341 003