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Nov 8, 2012

Dental Mission at St. Martin De Porres leaves big smiles

The Belize Mission Project is back in Belize. In the past two weeks a team from the US comprising dentists, physicians, dental technicians and others in the profession, have been providing free medical dental care across the country to school children to ensure bright smiles. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was at St Martin’s Primary School today where hundreds of children waited their turn for dental care. 


Jose Sanchez

Seven hundred and eighty students of St. Martins Primary School students and pre-school kids received dental care from the Belize Mission Project. Doctor Phillip Bangle, better known as Doctor Phil, continues the tradition of the Belize Mission Project which started about twenty years ago.


Dr. Phillip Bangle, Belize Mission Project

Phillip Bangle

“It started as a small group of dentist coming from US and some from Canada. That started twenty years ago and what we did this year and last year is that we developed a fluoride program. I’ve been coming for eight years to this country and found out that a lot of the adults have a lot of cavities and a lot of decay in their teeth; we’re taking a lot of teeth out. So I thought can we start in grade school to help prevent that for the adults. So as they grow up, they will have some to brush their teeth. Not only that, last year we did six thousand applications; that was bigger than we thought we would have done. So today and last week we are here doing the same project—there are dentists all over the country still doing extractions; still doing fillings. This is kind of a separate project of Belize Mission Project hoping to make a difference.”


In addition to fluoride treatment, free toothbrush and toothpaste distribution, the kids were taught the proper way to brush their enamel. The project has the blessing of the Ministry of Health.


Efrain Cima

Dr. Efrain Cima, Ministry of Health

“The Belize Mission Project always seeks the help of the Ministry of Health in terms of organizing and finding the best areas to get the dental services available to the population. In this case, the fluoride project was started last year and I was approached to get the designated school in the rural areas, in Belize, across Belize for where the fluoride treatment will be helpful. We always get a contact person in each district. For example three days ago we were in Corozal with the help of Mister Aikerman, we found different schools in the rural areas. We went to different villages and we saw one thousand four hundred and four drills and we applied the fluoride varnish.”


The bright smiles and attentiveness of the St. Martin De Porres Primary School students are reasons why they chose the Jewel.


Dr, Phillip Bangle

“Eight years ago, when I first started coming here, I wanted a country I felt comfortable in. I had not done any mission projects prior to that so I decided to come; it has grown on me. There are lots of things that I enjoy and one of those is giving to your country. Everyone is very receptive here; the teachers are receptive of us coming into their schools. So from that, we’ve been to Corozal, we’ve been to Belmopan; we’ve been down as far as Placencia and Seine Bite; to Caye Caulker and we are basically based in San Pedro where we start out and we go from there. There are approximately twenty-forty people that come per week. We have dentists; we have a few physicians as well.”


Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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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1 Response for “Dental Mission at St. Martin De Porres leaves big smiles”

  1. Storm says:

    I sure am grateful for generous Americans like McAfee in the previous item, and these good dental professionals. Thank you, guests, for all the help you give our little country!

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