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NOIVA Health launches mobile dental clinic

Bad teeth are often a sign of poverty. In Jordan, many refugees cannot afford a dentist. But relief is now on the way in the form of a mobile dental clinic.

An inconspicuous container stood for years on what used to be a farm in the Tösstal in Canton Zurich. The red cross against the white background is the only remnant of its previous life as a mobile field hospital. In 2017, it was finally revived and sent on a mission to Jordan, where many children and adults with bad teeth urgently need treatment. This is because people in difficult circumstances tend to neglect their teeth or simply don’t have the means for such services, a situation that can cause long-term damage. Furthermore, a poor diet is often an additional damaging factor.

Swiss-Jordanian partnership
Andreas Herzog, an airline pilot, heads NOIVA Health in his spare time, usually from Switzerland. In the last few months, however, he spent a lot of time in Amman to work on the Mobile dental clinic project, where he has the active support of the main local partner: a Jordanian dentist who provides valuable expertise, useful contacts, and equipment, among other things. He also manages the technical side, an indispensable part of the project.

Dental prophylaxis works
We never wait until the last moment – especially in the case of children, where the need for prevention is strongest. NOIVA regularly gives away toothbrushes and toothpaste to refugee families and playfully helps children develop good oral hygiene habits, also a frequent topic addressed in the “learn2live” groups. Children are always very happy to share what they’ve learned with their friends and family members, and they enjoy getting their parents, siblings and friends to take better care of their teeth.

Looking for supporters
The mobile dental clinic can accommodate two dentists and one assistant, and its target group are patients who most likely cannot afford a trip to the dentist. Here they pay a lot less: The mobile dental clinic depends not only on patient contributions but also on donations, and all the equipment (truck, container, interior, medical device, etc.) is made possible through gifts. We are therefore especially grateful to all our private donors and to our sponsor Straumann, the implant maker in Basel.

 

Chronology of the mobile dental clinic

 

September 2017: The mobile field hospital in its original condition …

… and with its fold-out interior.

October 2017: The container is thoroughly cleaned inside and outside …

… and painted (November 2017). Volunteers spent approx. 60 hours.

June 2018: The container does not travel empty! Approximately 140 boxes of relief supplies are loaded.

July 2018: Ready to go – the container is shipped via Basel and Rotterdam to Jordan.

September 2018: The container arrives in Jordan!

It took some effort to finally find the right truck.

November 2018: The truck has been converted and the container can now be mounted …

… and the equipment is being installed!

The outside of the dental clinic with its new design!