In 2012, Dr Kim Malawkin worked with AVVRG dental group at Long Tan primary school. Six years later, in December 2018, Dr Malawkin with two dental assistants – Andie Malawkin and Daniel Fisher -volunteered as part of AVVRG SA Dental Care team providing oral health care to younger children at Long Tan preschool.

Long Tan preschool is located approximately 50km north east of Vung Tau city, which is viewed as a rural poverty so that dental care and oral health education are not considered of high importance. There are approximately 300 children ageing from a range of 2.5 to 5 years who are at risk of a high rate of dental caries due to the availability of sweeteners and total lack of oral hygiene.

Recognizing the extremely high level of demand at Long Tan preschool, the Health Department in Ba Ria Vung Tau in coordination with AVVRG had organized the dental bus from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th December to provide dental treatment to young children. The dental team was assisted by Dr Hoa Nguyen, who is a medical doctor and volunteered his services on several AVVRG dental trips. He kindly provided guidance to the routine and helped with the dental assisting, sterilisation and coordination of the children to be treated.

Dr Kim Malawkin with assistance of her daughter Andie Malawkin and Daniel Fisher cleaned and provided fluoride treatment to more than 50 children. Also, the team went around the classrooms to most of the 300 children to provided oral hygiene instructions with plaque disclosing gel demonstrations, donated toothbrushes & toothpastes.

Material – supplied by Single Used Instrument – stores at Long Tan dental Clinic which was originally set up by the AVVRG to assist the promotion of oral health to the local of Long Tan.

“Thank you for the opportunity to work with the AVVRG to provide (hopefully) some dental relief for these children. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see all of the kids. I hope in the coming future, there will be more AVVRG groups visiting these very young children as the level of need is extremely high in these communities.” said Dr Kim.

Daniel Fisher – dental assistant – had kindly share a video clip which briefly shows most activities during Dr Malawkin’s trip.

There was a memorable case that Dr Kim shared with AVVRG SA team after returning from volunteering at Long Tan preschool. There was a little boy who was waiting to be treated whilst his parents were waiting in front of the school to pick him up. “That was 4.30PM in the afternoon and I was supposed to finish at 4.00PM. I saw the boy run away to his parent in the last minute. Then, he came back and said that he convinced the parent to patiently wait for him to finish his dental treatment. The boy ended up with a beautiful smile on his face. I was feeling so grateful even though that was such a long and hard shift that I have ever done which lasted more than 10 hours” said Dr Kim.

Thank you to Dr Kim and her assistants – Andie Malawkin and Daniel Fisher – for great dental services at Long Tan preschool. We would love to express our sincere appreciation to Single Use Instrument for materials and equipment which contributed to success of the dental team during this trip.

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