Every day a young man comes to our cabin, clutching his mouth and wincing as he waits. He can barely eat, because of the pain. Every day I ask him to open his mouth and spray around his decaying teeth to numb it for a little while so he at least can have his dinner. Is it not horrible that a man can only eat, once we have numbed his mouth of all sensations?

“Every patient we see, also has some sort of dental problems,” one of our doctor says. In our medical cabin we give advice to best manage their dental issues given the complex situation in the camp. This, unfortunately, is only something to battle the pain and not something that focusses on diminishing the causes of all these dental problems. Perhaps in the future we will extend our advice in the shape of posters and short videos playing outside our cabin in the future. This, however, is no solution to the actual problem.

Luckily we, together with other organisations in the camp, finally managed to invite Dentaid to the camp. They will provide check-ups for the list of more than sixty people that we have made over time in hope of this sort of opportunity: sixty individuals who are all eagerly and desperately waiting for a dentist to relieve them from their suffering. Dentaid will arrive this Monday and will stay for a week. We can only hope that after Dentaid’s stay, other actors will also be convinced of the urgency of having a permanent dentist in the camp.

Dentaid will come and the person who comes to our medical cabin every day to receive a little bit of spray, will be treated. We as a team are very happy to welcome Dentaid in the camp: there work is more than needed.

Text: Rozemijn Aalpoel
Photo: Bas Bakkenes
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