Moldova, a small land-locked country north of the Balkans, has become the poorest country in Europe since the breakup of the Soviet Union. A significant drop in the amount of funding allocated to health care saw life expectancy decrease and premature mortality increased.
Non-existent preventative care
The inefficient health care system provides virtually no preventive care. In 2010 there were only 11 public dental polyclinics in the Republic of Moldova and to date, there are no dental hygienists working in the country.
Institutions, stigma and the need for improvement
Dentaid recently visited orphanages, ‘move-on’ housing and schools for men, women and children, the majority of whom were disabled. Unfortunately, social stigma and lack of understanding about caring for children with disabilities in Moldova means that many are abandoned in the maternity unit or simply left with the authorities in early childhood. It was only in recent years that the Moldovan government began to recognise the rights of disabled people and now there is pressure for improvements in the system.
Thankfully generous donations of clothes, shoes and bedsheets have allowed for ‘move-on’ housing to be provided. This let’s small groups live alongside carers to have a deinstitutionalised life and enjoy more freedom.
Dentaid visited the country to provide oral health education and assess the state of the institution’s dental facilities. Upon inspecting one of the facilities the equipment was identified to be far from practicable. The chair dated back to the 1960s, the autoclave was broken and there wasn’t even a dentist available to work within the dire conditions. The surgery had been unused for 15 years with residents having to go to the next town for treatment.
New equipment & sterile supplies make the world of difference
Dentaid has since sent enough dental equipment to Moldova to allow them to build three entire dental surgeries, along with several hundred sterile dental instruments. This will replace the antiquated equipment and allow for safe treatment of the men, women and children within the institutions. The resident dentist has already expressed the enormous difference the equipment has made to their work.
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