Ear and dental care


Why was it initiated?

There were 4 projects running in DaLat at the time this project was conceived: 
Support for Happiness house (HH - hostel for visually impaired children with other cognitive disabilities)
Teaching occupational English Lam Dong Blind association (LDBA) 
Exploration of water supply CamLy minority childrens’ hostel (CLMCH).
Training surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses at Lam Dong general hospital in the safe care of small children having surgical procedures. Integral to this was pre-screening of children.
In addition, we had been working peripherally with Red Cross (Vietnam) and they had identified a number of disadvantaged child care institutions. These interactions highlighted poor general and dental health of many children. 
Access to primary care is relatively expensive and difficult to obtain by these disadvantaged groups

What were its aims 

Provide greater emphasis on health education, including healthy lifestyle and diet
Teach carers (including parents and supervisors) easily recognisable signs of ear and dental disease
Provide a simple management pathway for carers to institute appropriate treatment without the cost and inconvenience of taking the child to hospital or local doctor
Recognise when a child does not need to see a doctor
In the case of dental care, to find an appropriate referral pathway to a competent and low cost dentist(s)

When did it run?


Who has been involved?

LDBA Mr Truong
Happiness House Sr Nha
CamLy Minority children's hostel Sr Dao
MESCH  Milton, Maureen, Michael and Amy Sales, Anne McGeechan

What happened?

Visits to various institutions and locations were organised. They consisted largely of screening and some treatment with referral to local VN service providers as needed. 
Dental: Education was provided in tooth brushing and other preventative strategies. Supplemental education posters with some brushes and toothpaste were left. 
Ear: A simple management pathway was discussed and a Vietnamese language poster containing pictures and step-wise decision tree left with staff.  Auroscopes were left with the larger institutions after ascertaining that the users had reasonable competence in their use.


The aims of this project were ambitious. Nevertheless, with more time and limiting numbers of participants, they were achievable. A significant impediment was involvement of the Red Cross with consequent co-involvement of inappropriate dental professionals. The project was not continued as the MESCH volunteers involved chose other priorities. 

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