The Afghanistan Dental Relief Project is an organization established to provide dental treatment facilities in underserved areas of Afghanistan, to staff these facilities with volunteers, to train the Afghan people in dentistry and dental technology, to provide dental treatment at no cost to the needy, and to provide instruction in methods of preventative dental care. The whole of Afghanistan is basically without dental care. Almost thirty years of war has destroyed the technical infrastructure there, eliminating many of the essentials for basic living: reliable water, electricity, telephone service, public transportation, refrigeration, decent roads, sanitation.leaving the people to survive as best they can. Years of civil war killed so many parents that the orphan population comprises almost ten percent of the total population. Years of successive drought conditions have made it impossible to grow self-sustaining crops to provide food, and many able-bodied men must leave their families to work as laborers in foreign countries to feed their children. Yet everywhere in Afghanistan, you see the hard-working people courageously trying to make their way against these odds to make their lives better.The Project
Within each person’s mouth, serious conditions exist which undoubtedly cause the person serious pain and certainly affect their overall health, so much so that it is necessary to triage these conditions in order to treat the worst problem first. With almost thirty million people without basic dental care, any dental treatment facility is easily overwhelmed by the incredible demand for services. According to the American Dental Association, there are no volunteer facilities established currently in Afghanistan, even though many American dentists are eager to go there, at their own expense, to volunteer their help.How to Help
We are dedicated to overcome the obstacles preventing these people from having access to professional dental care. Used equipment is being donated by practicing dentists in the United States which is being crated and shipped by sea to be used in facilities throughout Afghanistan. Networks of Afghan volunteers are being established to organize housing and supportive services for volunteer dental health workers who are going there to do this work. Dental equipment and supplies are being donated by manufacturers and distributors for use in the treatment facilities.
Dental technology textbooks are being purchased to educate the orphaned boys in basic sciences so that they might someday be trained to provide dental care in some way themselves, and perhaps a dental training facility could be established that would give precedence to the orphans, both giving them a future and helping solve the long-term needs of the country.
The dental assisting program has been in place for about 9 years, teaching around 10 students each year with roughly 100 graduates so far. Students are typically young women that can not afford a university, have been widowed, or older orphans. The dental assisting training program runs for 5 months.
Upon graduation, the students will receive certificates as Certified Dental Assistant professionals, and will be able to get jobs working in dental offices, or they will be able to enter our dental laboratory technology training program. This program is at no cost to Afghan students. We are also opening a school for dental hygienists, and dental lab technicians at no cost to students, some of these students are now teachers themselves. These people have become authority figures in a destroyed infrastructure and are playing vital roles in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Our mostly women graduate go into the male-dominated dental profession as mentors, creating safer, healthier, and more productive environments for Afghan dentists and patients.
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Average Afghan life expectancy
Dentists in our clinic
Number of dental assistant graduates
Number of people we've helped