What’s worse, a broken leg or a toothache? A broken leg might be more obvious, but both significantly impact quality of life. HAH has been fixing broken legs for a long time, and now we can also take care of toothaches! Today, three Haitian dentists work in four operatory clinics with several assistants. A new digital X-ray system is in place, and a full range of services is available.
No matter who you are, finding a dentist in Haiti can be difficult. If you’re struggling to survive and have a toothache, paying for that dentist is even more difficult.
From dream to reality
For a long time, Dr. Peter Nelson, DDS, had the vision of opening a dental clinic at HAH. He made many visits to HAH, and each time, he was relegated to helping with other projects that took priority. With a real drive to make his dream a reality, Dr. Peter raised over $75,000 to construct and furnish the dental clinic.
The work started a year ago with significant renovations on an underutilized area of the second floor of our outpatient clinic. We reinforced the building, moved walls, added additional space, and redid much of the plumbing and electrical. In the meantime, good quality dental chairs and equipment were acquired and sent to Haiti on an ocean container ship.
Local workers executed the architectural plans by Brian Starr and Michelle Cho. They used locally acquired materials and turned this space into a beautiful clinic. Extra effort was made to have planters, natural light, and fresh air to liven the environment.
Launching the new clinic
Our dentists are thrilled to have such a wonderful space for their work! We launched the clinic by offering complimentary services to our employees, who were super excited about this opportunity. Soon after, the clinic was fully opened, and people started coming from near and far. Our outreach programs through local churches have been popular, and we proudly provide low-cost services to people in our community. We have also initiated a teaching program to mentor dental students from the state university in Port au Prince.
The clinic was designed with flexibility to also accommodate Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) and ophthalmology services. Dr. Charles Stewart from Loma Linda University has collaborated with a local ENT surgeon to provide much-needed ENT services.
The clinic is developing a reputation as the best in the region. More importantly, it is the only place in our local community for people with little money to come for treatment.
The mission of HAH is to continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ by offering high-quality care to all classes of people. Our new dental clinic is living up to that mission. The professional services, compassionate care, and attractive clinic space provide our best for those who need it most.