By Cindy Thomson
Last year, devastation was brought to Haiti once again in the form of Hurricane Irma. In the aftermath of the hurricane, people were left with little food, water or shelter. With a constant barrage of natural, economic and political crises, dental care in Haiti has taken a back seat to more immediate concerns. There are few who are thinking about dental health, or how the lack of dental care affects long-term health. Despite this, recovery and rebuilding efforts in Haiti should be focused on all issue areas including more attention on the importance of healthy dental practices.
Haiti is still trying to rebound from past hurricanes’ devastating blow to the food supply. Many Haitians remain malnourished, receiving less than the recommended nutrients on a daily basis, resulting in various health concerns including a reduction in healing properties for the gums and progresses the possibility of gum disease. According to the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, the solution is to attempt a regular diet as soon as possible. Reaching the solution is easier said than done in some cases, however, as the island rebuilds, the first priority must be toward feeding the people properly.
While Haiti continues to have a steady flow of volunteers entering the country, there must be a concerted effort to recruit nonprofits that are focused on dental care in the country. Haiti needs a combination of volunteers who will work side by side in returning the nation back to its former health. Dentists, doctors, farmers and donations of fresh water need to work simultaneously on the overall health of Haiti.