I assisted in the medical clinic on Monday, specifically within the dental room. We had Shazia Kanani as the main dentist, Nadia Shah as the dental assistant and Yasmin as our translator. We saw approximately 20 patients during the course of the day, with a range of different problems.
Our 1st patient was a 45 year old man, who had actively been fighting against Daesh. He was in urgent need of fillings and a badly decayed tooth that needed to be removed. After explaining the situation to the patient, he decided he didn’t want the tooth to be removed as it wasn’t causing too much pain, and preferred to just have the fillings done. Shazia fitted the patient with the required fillings and he left very happy.
Anther patient we saw was an ex Syrian soldier. It was so sad to see the physical damage of war on people, he was missing at least 3 of his fingers. After examining his teeth, it was found that he needed 2 roots removed due to very bad decay. He wanted it all done in the clinic as he couldn’t afford to have it done elsewhere. The removal is a difficult one, but eventually the roots are removed and Dr Shazia explains his after care routine to him to ensure the surgical extraction is successful.
Other patients included a lady who was experiencing extreme sensitivity, a gentleman who had badly broken teeth, and a child with badly broken and fractured teeth needing urgent removal.
We found that a lot of the problems stemmed from extremely poor dental hygiene, lack of basic resources such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and clean water, and a complete lack of understanding of the importance of dental hygiene. Also, high sugar diets seemed to be a common factor amongst the patients that we saw.
Dr Shazia handed out toothbrushes and toothpaste to all her patients in order to encourage them to be more in control of their dental health.
Outside of the dental room, we had Dr Sadia Asar seeing patients in confidentiality, assisted by Sister Shabnak Mawani. We also had a triage area being run by Sisters Masuma, Husna and Shahida. We had sis Dalal, who came from Beirut to assist as a translator in the medical team.
The waiting room was a sight for sore eyes. Members of the LZHH team had handed out colours and paper to the kids, and sat with them drawing pictures and keeping them company. It was amazing to see what just a little bit of time and couple of colouring pencils could do.