The patient above had an extra set of large canines, earning him the nickname "Dracula" in his village. He requested that they be removed. I wonder how much this will change his life, but I believe the huge smile said it all.
This mission was to the Unini River, a tributary of the Rio Negro, one of the two rivers that form the Amazon River. A doctor, dentist, two nurses, and a pastor, all Brazilian Presbyterians, served four villages in three days. Each day, the loaded plane flew to a new area--two on the third day--and off-loaded the dentist's chair, medicines, and all equipment. The group worked there, reloaded, slept in hammocks, and flew on early the next morning.
Our Asas de Socorro bush nurse and main organizer of medical/evangelical missions, Ester Camilo, assisting her brother-in-law, Dr. Omar Daoaidar, who flew from his practice in Anápolis, Brazil, to participate in this mission.
A volunteer teaches children how to use a tooth brush. Unlike our grade school classes, this is a foreign concept. They didn't have toothbrushes, and they can't afford tooth paste. (Nor can we afford to supply it or haul it to them by air.) Most of the people, old and young, have a mouth full of black teeth, live with constant tooth pain, and may die due to dental abcesses. Their diet is mainly fish and starch, especially manioc root products, which except for carbohydrates are nutritionally worthless.
Women are given the short course on hygiene and nutrition. Here they are gathered in the town meeting hall.
The community center where the clinic was held. The satellite signal receiver is their link to the world for radio, emergency help, and yes, television to a limited degree. Many communities have no school except by satellite television. Others go through fourth grade, which is considered "being educated", and have "segunda grau" by satellite television.
Electrical power is supplied by generator, but most communities have one barrel of diesel fuel to burn for several months.
If you would like to participate in a mission like this, contact us by phone or e-mail.
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