ADA to help rebuild Haitian dental offices

The ADA is collaborating with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) to rebuild or re-equip some 30 Port-au-Prince, Haiti, dental practices damaged or destroyed by the earthquake earlier this year, the ADA announced.

HVO is a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the availability and quality of healthcare in developing countries through the training and education of local healthcare providers.

The ADA's contribution comes through its Division of Global Affairs.

The effort by the two organizations, Adopt-a-Practice: Rebuilding Dental Offices in Haiti, seeks to raise $300,000 by the end of this year. Port-au-Prince lost nearly a third of its dental offices because of the January earthquake.

"With about 350 dentists for a population of 9 million, Haiti has the lowest ratio of dentists per population in the Western Hemisphere," said Samuel Prophete, D.D.S., president of the Haiti Dental Association. "Our biggest challenge actually is to try to do as much as we can to give the dentists who lost their practices after the earthquake the opportunity to rebuild and stay in the country in order to better serve their fellow Haitians."

"Because of the depressed economy in Haiti, even small contributions will go a long way toward putting dentists back on their feet so that they can resume their practices, "said ADA President Ronald Tankersley, D.D.S. "A shortage of dental care pre-existed the earthquake in Haiti. So it is critical that we do what we can to help restore the country's dental workforce."

Click here to find out how to contribute to the Adopt-a-Practice fund.

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