October 09, 2014
Nepali kids access dental care thanks to Montview Presbyterian
Going to the dentist is one thing. Getting there can be another challenge.
In Kathmandu, Nepal, hundreds of children head to the Global Dental Relief clinic in Boudha. Many walk, often a long distance along unimproved roads, vying with buses, cars, delivery carts, motorcycles, and even animals.
Nepal Mountview Presbyterian reduced the burden for many of the youngsters. For ten years, it has given money to rent a bus to deliver children from a distance to the Global Dental clinic. This clinic is 22 km from Patan where the 500 plus students from the Bal Kumari school are located.
The man who makes this work is Uttam Kumer Thapa, 48, a wiry and observant administrator for health clinics and the school. For a decade he has reliably picked up the children, shepherding them through the clinic, calming the anxious, and been a dependable link for Global Dental Relief. When he’s told 30 patients should come, they arrive, and on time!
Uttam brings 60 kids per bus to each of the clinics–Spring and Fall. “The students I first brought to the clinic are now graduated,” Uttam says proudly.
It is a rewarding partnership for all. The children get transportation, free professional dental care, and new toothbrushes.
“Thank you so much” said a teacher, who himself had a tooth extracted. “If it weren’t for this partnership of Montview Presbyterian and Global Dental Relief, some of these kids could never have dental care. Parents couldn’t afford it, and we have few dentists in Nepal who can provide such services. We really appreciate this care.”
By Joanne Ditmer