Free Medical Clinic serving LaGonave, Haiti
For many years, Dr. Jerry Paz, a Warrenton dentist, has made annual trips to Haiti to provide free dental care for the people of the village of Anse-A-Galets on the island of LaGonave.
Many of these people had no dental care for years. Some had large abscesses caused by teeth that had become severely inflamed and infected.
Dental care in a third-world country is a bit different than in the developed world. Many people wait in great pain for a dentist who can just pull a bad tooth to remove the inflammation.
Initially borrowing space from other missions, it became clear that dedicated space was needed for a clinic that could provide a place for visiting doctors and dentists to practice in the Anse-A-Galet area of LaGonave.
A Clinic is Built
Jerry Dickherber, with the help of numerous volunteers from churches in the United States and paid Haitian workers, has built a very nice (especially by Haitian standards) clinic. The clinic has ceramic tile floors and plenty of cabinets for the clean storage of equipment and supplies. A dental chair places the patients in a position appropriate for the dental work. In August 2009, we received medical equipment and hospital beds for the clinic, thanks to the generosity of Guts Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The clinic also has living quarters for the health care teams who come from the United States and other countries. Volunteer workers (other than medical teams) stay in a separate guest house with Sonja and Jerry. The volunteers must pay their own transportation expenses, as well as a small daily fee for room and board.
Many Haitians have received dental and medical care since the clinic was built. With poor nutrition and abject poverty, there are always more challenges than resources. Celebrate Jesus of Haiti, Inc. does not charge money for these services. The generosity of professionals like Dr. Paz and many others makes this possible. These individuals devote much of their vacation time to help alleviate pain for some of the poorest people on earth.