Development Projects and Dental Missions
Our two branches
When Dental Health Without Borders first widened its scope to include more dental professionals on its dental missions, it was decided to add another branch to the work of the organisation, the development projects. The dental missions serve a extremely urgent and immediate purpose, but the new branch would ensure sustainable and lasting progress in the project areas, and would address the underlying causes dental challenges – even after the volunteer workers’ departure.
Today the work of Dental Health Without Borders thus rests on two pillars:
Teams of volunteer dental professionals travel to ‘dentally distressed’ areas worldwide.
A dental mission team is in the field for one to two weeks at a time.
They provide dental emergency treatment – often extractions.
They work under primitive conditions such as in poor villages, schools, and so called ‘bare foot hospitals’, often without access to running water or electricity.
Patients are taught proper dental hygiene during their treatment.
The dental missions are associated with local partners, sometimes professional groups such as the local school of dentistry, but more often they work with local humanitarian organisations. These provide local anchoring, invaluable know-how, security for the volunteers, and thus secure sustainability and local capacity building.
Our development projects are larger, sustainable projects focusing on prevention and long-term dental health promotion.
We work on dental health promotion as well as prevention of dental disease.
Often this involves implementing basic school dental care programmes combined with educational initiatives, specifically tailored to the needs of the area.
At the same time dental health is promoted by influencing local and national decision makers.
Our development effort does not end until we deem the local capacity great enough to continue the work and secure the sustainability independently. This is why our projects sometimes last for several years.
These projects are built upon the so called ‘Basic Package of Oral Care’ (BPOC) method developed by WHO.
The development projects are all deeply rooted in the local community through close collaboration with local humanitarian organisations, professional groups, or similar, who implement the actual programme. These organisations are chosen on the basis of common values and they all have substantial knowledge of, and involvement in, that particular area. This procedure is part of the Danish civil society strategy regarding development work.