Volunteering in remote areas of Nicaragua
Will Hanks, a dentist at our Kyrle Street Dental Practice, has been volunteering with the Peace and Hope Trust for more than six years. Right now, he is in Nicaragua with his wife, who is also a dentist, two nurses, a consultant orthodontist and several other non-medical volunteers. They are supporting local communities who have no other access to dental care.
Before he left for his current visit, Will gave us an update on the services he expected to provide.
“We focus on very remote villages in the Eastern region of Nicaragua, which can only be accessed by river. Most of our work is about pain relief. We perform a lot of extractions and the locals are very happy to receive this care. We also try to educate them in basic dental and general health, encouraging them to look after themselves between our visits. Our dental services are relatively simple, but they make a massive difference.”
Making a difference
They are visiting several remote villages on the Rio Grande de Matagalpa, returning to communities that have come to rely on them for dental care. They are a three-hour fast boat ride from the nearest town. As the Peace and Hope Trust didn’t visit last year the team expects to be kept very busy this trip!
“We always plan ahead and let the villages know that we’re coming,” he said. “Most of the settlements have a resident nurse who organises the clinic for us. There is a massive need for dentistry in this area so we tend to have large crowds of patients waiting for us”.
Not just dental care
“The Peace and Hope Trust sends about four containers a year to Nicaragua loaded with medical and educational equipment. Our team has the privilege of delivering some of these much-needed supplies to these very remote areas. We also help in a number of other ways like performing simple eye tests and providing reading glasses.”
These projects clearly make a great deal of difference to the lives of these local communities. We wish Will and his team a safe trip!
If you’re interested in joining the team to Nicaragua next year, or you would like to support the trip in some way, please contact Will for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the Peace and Hope Trust, please visit their website.