3 dentists in full speed today! The problem solving never ends as today the new unit’s suction system stopped working mid-morning. We suspect it mustn’t have fared too well on the trip from Pokhara to Ghandruk. Loc and Laura quickly learned the Nepalese word for ‘spit!’.
Laura and John trekked over the mountain today to have a look at the health clinic based in Chhomrong. Unfortunately due to lack of adequate roads and transport, we are yet to be able to expand our dental services to this region. Instead, residents of Chhomrong wake up early to make the long trip across the valley to Ghandruk. Once they receive their dental work, they then start the long walk home – most arriving back at around 8pm.
Loc and Dr Bibhor were working hard in Ghandruk today, and were blessed with a surprise birth at the health clinic! Once the mother gave birth and they made sure both Mum and Bub were happy and healthy, they strapped her to a makeshift gurney and carried her back home.
We’ve now become accustomed to the flow of patients on a normal clinic day. Don’t let the quiet mornings fool you, make the most of that mid-morning cup of tea! Come 11am, the patients start to gather and all of a sudden you are working non-stop until about 4 or 5pm.
Today we farewelled Dr Bibhor (and only ever so slightly panicked as we were now down to two dentists). As our replacement unit had arrived, a porter took the broken one back to Pokhara. We are still so baffled as to how they can carry 26kg just by a strap around their neck! It certainly will make us double think before we ever complain about a heavy backpack again…
Despite the delayed start, Loc and Laura powered through and managed to see 25 patients all up today.
The group were well rested after a well-earned day off yesterday!
However, as eager as we were to get back to work, we had no electricity and no running water to start the morning – a common occurrence in the village after a big thunderstorm.
After triaging and covid testing patients, we got to work on extractions and eventually everything came back on around 11am. Loc and Laura managed to still work through 38 patients – 16 restorations and 47 extractions.
300 patients and counting!
Our last day of the dental camp today. A steady morning of patients followed but the gruelling task of packing up the clinic. A total of 314 patients were seen over 10 days, and we are all so very proud (and very tired). The staff surprised us with a beautiful cake and some delicious momos (Nepalese dumplings) in celebration of a big 10 days.
We want to thank the Ghandruk Clinic health assistants, Dr Bibhor, our volunteers and all of our Aussie supporters as well. On to the next!