The charity dental clinic of San Lorenzo Ruiz and Companion Martyrs Parish in Dagat-dagatan, Navotas City was blessed and inaugurated on February 17, 2016 by Br. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, OP, the Prior Provincial. Constructed and operated with through the generosity of Dominican benefactors and friends and with the help of Buddhist Tzu Chi Philippines, Inc., this dental facility caters to the poorest of the poor in the parish and has served 857 indigents to date. It has also conducted eight dental missions with the help of a steady roster of volunteer dentists.
Our 2016 target of 800 beneficiaries as the Parish’s solidarity participation in the 800th Jubilee Celebration of the Order has been significantly met.
In the latest dental mission of August 24, 2016, oral hygiene training activities were conducted by a Colgate-Palmolive team for kindergarten pupils of the neighboringKapitbahayan Elementary School and their parents. Afterwards, free toothbrushes and toothpaste were doled out. Fifteen volunteer dentists, four coming from Tzu Chi, launched free dental prophylaxis and fluoride varnish for 125 of the kindergarten students. Before the procedure, the children had to be fed first because some of them go to school with empty stomachs and their next meal would be four hours after the fluoride varnish. They were given free breakfast which were prepared and served by volunteers from the various organizations of the Parish.
The school-beneficiary has a population of 4,690 students but the school has no resident dentist and dental facility. Most of the families of the kids are informal settlers living along the banks of the heavily polluted Navotas River, under the bridges, in parked container vans near the pier, or in the squalid stalls of fishportmarkets, and many working just on a hand-to-mouth type of existence. Oral and dental hygiene is a luxury they definitely cannot afford, and the free service of the clinic is a big relief to them. In the succeeding dental missions, the clinic will attend to the other students.
by Br. Hilario Q. Siñgian Jr., OP