Manipal: A team of dental interns and faculty members from Manipal College of Dental Sciences (MCODS), in collaboration with European Dental Students’ Association (EDSA), and Wisdomtooth, a dental volunteer organisation from the U.S., conducted a major dental outreach at Leh and western Ladakh for the second consecutive year under the banner of Amchi programme.
Vinod Bhat, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Manipal University, said on Tuesday that the outreach programme was held from August 2 to 14. The project – started in 2012 – is today a programme with volunteers running it in one year cycles taking over from their predecessors.
This year, the project was conducted by Kanika Sabhlok and Mahipal Singh Rathore, student coordinators of MCODS.
The foreign delegation of volunteers was headed by Andrew Bartram (United Kingdom) and Elnaz Khodabandehlou (Sweden). Keiko Saito joined the team from Okayama University, Japan on behalf of Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA), he said.
Dr. Sabhlok said that after more than 10 months of planning, 39 volunteers reached out to Ladakh’s remotest areas early this month. The team comprised students and doctors from 11 nations (the U.K., Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, Canada, Romania, Kenya, and Japan) and Manipal University.
Remote and sparsely populated areas of Ladakh were chosen because of their poor access to health services and relative lack of health care.
Apart from executing the objectives of the mission in 2012, this year the team was able to implement new initiatives such as the ‘Amchi Smiles’ initiative, a health and hygiene education programme, she said.