Dental Health Program

In April 2010, the Chijnaya Foundation, in collaboration with the Peruvian American Dental Association (PADA), inaugurated a sustainable oral health program with a special five-day clinic in Chijnaya, to be followed by monthly services at the community’s health post. Our goal is to create a pilot project that can demonstrate the possibility of achieving improved oral health in poor remote Andean communities.

Dental Health Education and Prevention Program

The effort is a response to community members’ repeated requests for dental services and well documented need. In 2008, a group of graduate students from Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health conducted a dental health education and prevention program in Chijnaya and noted a high prevalence of cavities when they offered fluoridation to children.

A subsequent needs assessment (February, 2010), involving examination of 244 Chijnayans, provided epidemiological data demonstrating extensive need for dental treatment, particularly for caries control, extractions, root canal treatment, and prosthodontics.

A subsequent needs assessment (February, 2010), involving examination of 244 Chijnayans, provided epidemiological data demonstrating extensive need for dental treatment, particularly for caries control, extractions, root canal treatment, and prosthodontics.

With a new mobile dental unit and patient chair, purchased with a generous grant from a U.S. family foundation, representatives from PADA, the Chijnaya Foundation, and the Chijnaya community, along with four Puno area dentists, provided services to 305 patients during the inaugural April 2010 clinic. For a small contribution, patients were provided extensive oral health education, with an emphasis on the importance of regular toothbrushing, as well as the following services: oral examinations, fillings for caries, extractions, deep cleanings, pulpotomies for children, and fluoridation for youngsters aged 6-12.

The Oral Health Team (Left to Right):

Dra. Carmen Sanchez Herencia (dentist from Juliaca), Lic. David Cajo (Chijnaya Foundation Board member and Field Representative), Bruno Callata Tapia (mayor of Chijnaya), Zenovia Paricela Huancollo (volunteer community health promoter), Dr. Ann Stromberg (Chijnaya Foundation Board member and health specialist), Vicentina Alta Turpo (nurse at Chijnaya health post), Dr. Carlos Barriales Acosta (dentist from Puno), Dr. Juan Carlos Franco Barriga (dentist from Puno), Dra. Maria del Carmen Aragon Quispe (dentist from Juliaca), Dr. Oscar Trigoso (Founding President of the Peruvian American Dental Association). Not pictured: the photographer Silvia Trigoso, M.P.H, (PADA public health specialist),  and other supporting members of the Chijnaya community including Jose Araca, Secretary, and Ismael Cayra, Chinaya Health Committee member.

The oral health team (left to right)

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