• Timor Leste Dental Program

Timor Leste Dental Program

The Timor Leste Dental Program is inordinately grateful to Henry Schein Cares
06/07/2018
Now in its 16th year, the Timor Leste Dental Progam (TLDP) is the longest running dental program in Timor Leste. The program’s mission is to contribute to the improvement of oral health in Timor Leste. To achieve its aims, 4-6 dental teams head to Timor Leste annually. These teams provide treatment directly to communities in remote and rural Timor Leste, support Timorese clinicians with clinical mentoring and supplies, and facilitate the oral health education of the Timorese people via oral health workshops.

2018 has already been a big year. The second team has just returned home after a 2 week stint, treating people in the villages of Railaco Vila, Raliaco Leten, Tokoluli, Nasuta, Kasait and Maubara. Team 1 was in Timor in April and treated the people of Turiscai, as well as the children of Samoro, Rimori, Vatuvou, Edire and Vatunau. Together these 2 teams treated over 627 people, doing over 1447  extractions, fillings and preventive treatments - worth more than $318K. There are 3 more teams to go in 2018.

The TLDP believes that for long term sustainability, a program must have local ownership. Last year they employed their own dental therapist, Nicolau Tolentino Faria Pires, who works out of their base in Maubara. He delivers a toothbrushing and oral health education program to 18 schools in the Liquiça and Loes subdistricts, screens the children before the teams arrive, and treats general patients in the Maubara Clinic. He is helped by Ana Paula Dos Santos Tavares Salgado, a Timorese, Brisbanetrained, dental assistant.

This year they have pledged financial support for a young Carmelite nun to attend university in Indonesia. Sr Delfina hopes to become a dentist. The vision is that once she graduates and gains experience, she can take over the coordination of the program. The TLDP is also working to improve cooperation between the various dental programs that work in Timor Leste, introducing new dental programs to the Timorese local leaders and establishing links between existing health and oral health programs. This allows the dental programs to support each other in this challenging environment.

“The Timor Leste Dental Program is inordinately grateful to Henry Schein Cares. Your unwavering, generous support allows us to continue our mission in Timor Leste. Without it, we would not be able to help as many people as we do, nor give so much support to Timorese clinicians.” said Dr Blanche Tsetong – Program Coordinator.

Henry Schein Halas through the Henry Schein Cares Foundation is pleased to offer ongoing support to the teams of Australian Dental Professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to improve the lives of people who don’t have access to care. Would you like to be involved? Contact Dr Blanche Tsetong tsetongb@hotmail.com

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