Civil war, natural disasters and violent conflicts within Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, have led to the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. The lives of millions of people native to these countries have been irrevocably devastated. Those who managed to escape have since fled in hope of finding sanctuary inside Europe.
During the peak of the crisis, Greece saw an influx of upto 4,000 individuals arriving on the Aegean islands daily. Camps have been erected to temporarily house those in need. However, they are in old airport buildings, derelict stadiums and other dire locations, many of which do not meet accepted humanitarian standards of living.
Migrants are suffering in squalid conditions. Medical volunteers have described the state of camps as “post-apocalyptic”. With only blankets and sheets to make crude shelters, infection spreads easily and the health of migrants is deteriorating rapidly. Volunteers are working endlessly to provide basic healthcare but at this time there is no dental treatment.
Refugees often have an elevated risk of poor oral health, the reason for this can include:
- Tourture related injuries to the mouth and face
- Conflict resulting in closures of dental services and disruptions to hygiene practices
- Poor diet and nutrition
- Lack of water fluoridation
- Anxiety leading to acid reflux, grinding and reduced motivation for self- care
How Dentaid can help
Dentaid has been improving oral health around the world since 1996. They are serving the cause by supplying volunteer dentists, nurses and therapists to various refugee camps in northern Greece. Together with the Red Cross and Healthpoint foundation, they are working to improve sanitation and healthcare within camps. The main objective will be to triage, treat and supply aftercare to the refugees, yet there will still be a focus on ora; health education to help prevent further dental issues.
Dentaid has been an outstanding support for the refugee camps within Greece, providing a continuous stream of volunteer dentists and nurses. Dental care isn’t going to fix the crisis but it is a huge unmet need in the camps. If volunteers can help those living in exile live a more comfortable life, then they are truly providing an invaluable service.
To find out how we make a difference, view our charities page. If you are ready to take a convenient approach towards the dental industry, contact our team today!