Dentaid launches new volunteering trips to refugee camps on Greek Islands
Dental professionals are being asked to provide essential dental treatment for thousands of refugees on the Greek islands of Lesvos and Samos.
International dental charity Dentaid is launching new volunteering trips to both islands after seeing the desperate need for dental treatment in the camps. There are some refugees who can’t eat solid food because their dental pain is so severe and many more are in urgent need of treatment.
Volunteers will spend a week on either Lesvos or Samos working as part of a small team. Dentaid has been offered containers to use as a dental surgery. The charity is sending medical supplies, portable and disposable equipment and has made arrangements for sterilization.
The first Dentaid volunteers are heading to Samos mid February and they will treat some of the most urgent cases in the main camp on the island. In Lesvos volunteers will work in Moira Camp where about 3,000 people are living in tents and Kara Tepe which is home to about 800 women and children. They will work alongside Dentaid’s charity partners Euro Relief and the Refugee Boat Foundation who provide food, supplies and shelter for the refugees and approached Dentaid about the refugees’ dental needs.
Volunteering trips to Lesvos and Samos will run throughout March, April and May 2017. The first trips will be more suitable for dentists and dental nurses as many refugees will need extractions and pain-relieving treatment. Hygienists and therapists will be able to join the teams in May when Dentaid hopes to expand its work to include oral health education and toothbrushing programmes.
Volunteers will stay in local hotels and will fly to the islands from Gatwick or Heathrow via Athens. Everyone taking part in the trips is asked to fundraise between £700 and £750 to pay for their flights, accommodation, transport and to provide a contribution for equipment and medicines.
“There hasn’t been a dentist in these camps for over a year and there are people who can only eat porridge because their pain is so severe,” said Dentaid’s UK and European Projects Manager, Kerry Crook who visited the camps. “Dentaid has been sending volunteers to the refugee camps in northern Greece since last summer and we have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity of dental professionals who are willing to help people out of pain. Now we need to respond to the dental crisis on Lesvos and Samos where there has been no dental care at all. It will be hard work but volunteers will receive a warm welcome and will be able to use their skills to make a real difference.”
Volunteering trips to Samos depart on March 19th, April 2nd, April 23rd, May 7th, May 14th and May 21st and the trips to Lesvos depart on March 19th, March 26th, April 23rd, May 7th, May 14th and May 21st.
For more information and to apply on-line visit www.dentaid.org or call Dentaid on 01794 324249.