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Jul 11, 2011

No crooked smiles for Ministry of Health’s mobile dental units

But there is some good news. If you live in rural communities, it is becoming easier to access dental services. The Ministry of Health has received a number of mobile units that will be deployed throughout the districts to provide services to children, seniors and just about everyone. And since for many it is difficult to make ends meet, the dental services are being offered gratis. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Nine fully equipped Mobile Dental Units were handed over to representatives of dental clinics. The equipment, which was purchased with the help of other organizations, will provide a range of dental services for rural communities:

Dr. Raphael Samos, Senior Dental Surgeon

Raphael Samos

“It all started as big vision that we had to provide more dental services to the villages. We managed to get the cooperation of three main institutions or agencies or groups nuh, this included the Rotary International, Social Security/NHI and Ministry of Health. Those are the three main persons that provided the funding for it.  Its mobile units to be able to carry out more dental service for the villages. It’s for everybody to know that the Dental Department is not only about taking out teeth. Now with this mobile unit we’ll be able to provide more dental services. The equipment we’re receiving we’ll be able to do fillings, sealants, cleaning and on occasion if material are available even for small surgeries.”

The handing over of the new dental equipment is a major milestone for the Ministry of Health says C.E.O., Dr. Peter Allen:

Peter Allen

Dr. Peter Allen, C.E.O., Ministry of Health

“This has been something we wanted to do for the Dental Department for many, many years. I really, since 1987, over twenty years ago which was the last time there was a significant procurement of equipment for the Dental Department. What these mobile units allow is for the dental teams to improve the access to a broader range of services through-out the country. And especially focusing on our rural communities where of course little more than fifty percent of our population live.”

Pablo Marin says that the mobile units will assist in strengthening the dental program in the Ministry:

Pablo Marin, Minister of Health

Pablo Marin

“We are trying to expand our service and with a mobile unit we can go across the country and to help our people. From day one when I came in I wanted to see an improvement. Last year the first improvement was that we are doing filling to kids and pregnant women. Now we’ll be able to reach the entire community. Well, let me put it this way, from when I was young what they used to do is lone extraction and by the time we reach still a young age we have the majority of our teeth pulled out. So with this kind of programme we’ll have more cleaning, more prevention. And that is the main thing-prevention.”

And attesting to the significance of the Dental Mobile Units are Doctors Solomon Enriquez and Dalila Vanzie, who say that the outreach to communities will go a long way:

Solomon Enriquez

Dr. Solomon Enriquez, Dentist

“Usually for the residents of rural Toledo it is difficult for them to have access to dental services because there is not like a hospital there where they can just go over and get dental health care. So by us having these mobile units and reaching out to them, it will be of course it will be a big, big, big help for them.”

Dr. Dalila Vanzie, Dentist

Dalila Vanzie

“Well these mobile units definitely gonna help us with the programs we already have existing, which entails going out to rural areas, carrying out tooth brushing drills, doing fillings, sealants, a lot of preventive work for the schools and in general the rural community. We primarily are in Dangriga and we have seen a lot of people come in with poor oral hygiene, a lot of decay. Over the years it has transformed from people coming in for oral extractions to people wanting more restorative services and preventive services which is what these mobile units will help a lot with, to provide these services.”

While the units will help to augment the improving dental health of the country Dr. Allen says that Belizeans will need to do more to ensure better oral health:

Dr. Peter Allen

“The Dental Department through our clinics around the country still sees over twenty-thousand patients every year. And what we’re still seeing is that people’s diet is still too high in sugar and in processed foods and these of course contributes not only to dental disease but also to general poor health. And along with the Dental Department, along with our Nutrition Department, along with the Health Education and Community Participation Bureau, along with our partners we really want to encourage people to try to adopt the healthier diet, adopt healthier lifestyles; fruits, vegetables, exercise it’s all part of a healthy body and good oral health of course is directly linked to that good general health.”

Certificates were distributed to the participants in the Ministry’s annual dental workshop held in May of this year. Dr. Enriquez was recognized as dentist of the year. Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

The nine Mobile Dental Units takes up the number of Mobile Units that form part of the Dental Department’s Mobile Outreach Program to eleven.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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7 Responses for “No crooked smiles for Ministry of Health’s mobile dental units”

  1. Earl Grey says:


  2. Chance says:

    It is always amusing whenever the Minister of Health speaks. He is so much of a dunce.

  3. YO says:

    NO CROOKED SMILE? Peder Allen didn’t get the memo. Smile!!!

  4. Ashamed says:

    imagine internet readers worldwide will see our MINISTER OF HEALTH say in an official interview” what they used to do is lone extraction” . this is why our country is in this mess. I would say the average IQ of this Cabinet is around 75. Dean skews the numbers. but I think lately the trend is reversing.

  5. Imagine says:

    Pablo is still smarter than Nemencio, Hutchy and a bunch of other back benchers. Now you see why Burrow can”t reshuffle!!!!

  6. Rebel says:

    By his own admission and theory…duncy Pablo should be toothless by now. Spit it out Pablo…what a dummy! Can’t wait for 2013.

  7. Sam says:

    The only croaked one is the CEO of MOH who uses if office for personal gains. PM need to get rid of that cancer DR. Peter Allen, this is why i an glad that a man like John McAfee spot light the level of corruption in Belize which only looks bad on a Good PM and bad for a developing nation with financial problems, honestly PM fix your corrupted administration or no international lenders will take you serious / by the way it was in the New York Time we may go like Greece so far we bin talking like them lenders do not like corruption

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