New Dental Clinics Provide Dental Care for Tsunami Survivors

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Two new dental clinics have recently opened in Japan, to provide much-needed dental care for the survivors of a devastating tsunami.

The clinics, which were funded and constructed by humanitarian agency, AmeriCares, opened in the coastal town of Minamisanriku. The tsunami, which hit Japan on the 11th March, destroyed 95 percent of the town’s infrastructure and flattened six dental centres, leaving residents without access to dental services.

AmeriCares joined forces with the Miyagi Dental Association to build two new clinics and the local government has also been heavily involved in the construction process.

Ella Gudwin, vice president of emergency response at AmeriCares, said that the new clinics are serving one of the worse affected areas and restoring dental services to people who are in desperate need of help. Many people were left homeless after the disaster and oral hygiene may have fallen by the wayside, as people struggled to come to terms with the devastating effect of the tsunami. For many, especially the elderly, a lack of oral hygiene and access to dental services, contributed to health problems and many have developed painful abscesses, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Now the clinics have opened, people can get the treatment they need. The clinics were funded by a grant of $400,000 from AmeriCares and they are expected to operate for the next ten years. It is anticipated that dentists will serve around 10,000 people in the area.


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