All is not lost when people such as these give their time and resources so readily to help children that are most at need. Thanks to Dr. Bob Renner and Kids International Dental Services (KIDS), the children at PIO received a free dental check-up and care for the 3rd straight year.
Dr.Bob (Dr. Robert P. Renner),is a retired Periodontist, a professor Emeritus at The University of New York at Stony Brook and he leads a team of volunteer dental professionals and people from all walks of life that want to assist in providing the services. It certainly an international team and during my short visit as a witness to their work I met members from Japan, the USA and the Netherlands.
Dr Renner explains the reasons for the existence of his team are to "provide pro-bono dental care to impoverished children in developing countries. There are children in the world who will never have dental care that we take for granted unless we provide it. Most of these children have never seen a tooth brush". We have treated the children at (PIO) over the last few years. We have recently started visits to the Philippines also. This is dentistry at it most basic, conducted in "Mash" like circumstances with very few home comforts but the kids get the treatment they so badly need and the young professional on the team benefit also by gaining experience and confidence.
"We provide dental care to children in orphanages where they come after being abandoned by parents, family members. They are forgotten children of sex slavery, dead parents of AIDS, gang violence, street accidents. We have seen and treated over 1000 children during our stay in Cambodia".
"Most days we treat between 100 to 200 children. On the bright side, the cost of providing basic care to these children is less than $3 per child for treatment that would cost over $30 per child if performed at the health unit. So far we are personally committed to providing regular care to these children. We try to encourage young local dentists to partner with us and understand our American spirit of volunteerism. For a dental program in a developing country to be successful one must partner with a local agency and involve the local dentists/government".
" Educating the children themselves and helping them learn the importance of daily dental care will in the long term reduce the number of dental problems in the future and will hopefully be passed on to the next generation".
"Obviously our services cost money and we are always grateful for donations and support. Anyone able or wishing to donate something, no matter how small can do so here (DONATIONS) or if you would like to offer your service as a volunteer why not visit the site at KIDS ".