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Multinational Dental Team Provides Care in Cambodia

01 August 2012

From Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Feddersen

A joint team of dentists from four nations worked together to provide healthy smiles for local residents in Cambodia during Pacific Partnership, July 31.

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia – A joint team of dentists from four nations worked together to provide healthy smiles for local residents in Cambodia, July 31.

United States, Cambodian, Australian and Peruvian dentists teamed up at a medical civic actions project (MEDCAP) at Hun Sen Cheungkor School in Sihanoukville to provide dental care as part of Pacific Partnership 2012.

Royal Australian Navy dentist Lt. Cmdr. Cate Galloway said it has been a pleasure interacting with everyone.

“Working in partnership is what this mission is all about and it has been a great learning experience overall,” she said.

Over the course of the five-day MEDCAP, 10 different dentists and 21 different dental assistants switched out to make a dynamic team.

“This MEDCAP is unlike the others because the dental team has been changing constantly,” Galloway said. “It has been a challenge to develop a team flow, but on the positive side, we have been able to work with different people and gain a lot more experience through the process.”

Although the team was constantly changing, they have been able to treat a steady flow of patients by providing tooth extractions, cleaning, dental education, and general examinations.

Cambodian Army Maj. Chhun Sochet, a Cambodian military dentist, said the MEDCAP was a major success.

“Every day we receive 100 to 150 patients,” he said. “I feel like this has been a wonderful success because we did a good collaborative job and the team from the ship and each country were able to treat a large number of people.”

The dental care provided is a part of a larger spectrum of care provided at PP12 MEDCAPs, which includes family medicine, optometry, pediatrics, field laboratory work, and basic surgery.

All care provided comes at no cost to the patient or community.

Now in its seventh year, Pacific Partnership is an annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance mission U.S. military, host and partner nations, non-governmental organizations and international agencies designed to build stronger relationships and disaster response capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information about the PP12 mission, please visit the Pacific Partnership Blog or engage with Pacific Partnership on Facebook and Twitter.

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