PROJECT YETI 2019
PROJECT YETI 2019
The project is now in its eighth year and becoming well supported by a variety of mainly Australian volunteers. Dentists from India and the USA have also participated. The teams blended harmoniously adapting well to the new environment and variety of patients.
Five teams ( 21 people) participated in the project in April. In addition, Tim Topalov has recently returned from his September visit to Chialsa and Kopan clinic with his two enthusiastic assistants. In total, over 800 monks, nuns and lay patients were examined and treated at Kopan and Chialsa in 2019. This included oral hygiene instruction, detailed scaling and general restorative care.
The trip from Kathmandu was a 12 hour journey to the remote clinic at Chialsa, Solukhunbu. John Denton and Chris Hodge, both Adelaide dentists, led the two April teams at Chialsa treating the school children and surrounding village people. his was John’s fourth trip to Chialsa with each trip presenting different challenges.
The unseasonal wet weather conditions presented an additional challenge for them. Inches of heavy hail not only made it very cold but also slippery to walk around. They had to improvise using plastic bags overlays on their shoes. Even Tim in September was not spared a longer than usual wet season
Dr Chris Hodge with Lesley, Deserae and Vicky followed up after John at Chialsa clinic by treating the school children and the poor village people who walked for hours to be treated. It is hard to put in words my appreciation of the teams making the long trek to the Everest region and giving from the heart to some of the most underprivileged people of Nepal. Chris and Lesley assisted a villager with a fractured leg by constructing a splint.
Tim kindly donated a hot water service and a shower head for Chialsa. A very welcome addition. Tim followed up his stint at Chialsa by returning to Kopan Monastery to complete further treatments. Amazing effort.
By comparison, conditions at the Kopan clinic were luxurious. We enjoyed warm temperatures with an occasional tropical downpour. The newly arrived eight-year-old monks were terrific patients. They were curious and mischievous but very lovable. They looked small enough to pass for Western four-year olds. It is amazing how resilient these young patients are. Despite the fact that it is their first dental experience, they tolerate fillings and extractions with LA without any fuss. Unfortunately, their decay rate was high with many presenting with many of their deciduous dentition teeth decayed. The decay rate of the older monks, treated in previous years has markedly decreased. Their oral hygiene and dental awareness also has improved. This has resulted in fewer impacted canines from premature deciduous tooth loss and more impacted third molars.
People in the Kopan teams did a fantastic job treating all the monks and most of the nuns. Additionally people like Atish Raniga and the Happy tooth Group from the Hunter Valley made substantial contributions of equipment and donations.
Each year there is a growing core of dedicated practitioners who enthusiastically return and contribute with their time and donations of equipment and funds.
I would also like to thank the support from the ICDS and City Dental with equipment and funds. Petrina very timely sent a suitcase of supplies, which were very useful.
2019 has been a landmark year with Project Yeti now a tax deductible charity thanks to the assistance and guidance of my accountants, Lee Green and my son, Alexander.