Dentist Swaps Chiswick for Villages of Vietnam

Dr Raffaella Gabassi helps more than 3,500 children living in poverty

Images from Vietnam


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Chiswick Dentist Dr Raffaella Gabassi swapped her Chiswick treatment rooms for villages in Vietnam in a quest to provide free dental care and health education to children and adults living in poverty.

Travelling to Vietnam with humanitarian organization Dental Mission For Children a charity with the exclusive purpose to provide free dental care treatment and preventive dental health education to children and adults living in poverty in remote villages around the world.

Returning from her emotionally and physically draining trip, Raffaella told, "The two weeks I've spent in Vietnam were incredible to say the least. At times tiring and at times tearful, but always a reminder of my privileged life and the comforts my children and I live in. We reached 3,500 children between different schools and provided active treatment to 2,100 children, mainly in the form of pain relief.

Raffella raised over US$6,000 in sponsorship which enabled her to buy thousands of toothbrushes, school supplies and blankets that were distributed during the team’s community work in different villages.

"We also selected some children in need of treatment and paid for them to have their teeth restored. We also provided Oral Health Education classes to children and their parents throughout the two weeks we were there.”

Parents of disabled children were given gifts of money and toothbrushes and the orphanage was also gifted money and given supplies in forms of blankets, toothbrushes, soap and school stationary.

"I met some incredible people, people that shadowed our mission every day, wanting to help and to be part of this program however, I also witnessed the indifference of government officials, those who want to be thanked for doing nothing and don't care unless it is of direct benefit to themselves."

Of the four elementary schools the team visited, Tan Thoi elementary school was selected to receive a five year dental education program through the DDS4Kids charity.

Arrangements have also been made for the dozen children at the orphanage to receive dental care by Dr. Hue, the Red Cross will take care of all transportation and Dr. Hue will give the treatment, again all cost will be covered by DDS4Kids.


April 7, 2010