Hundreds of Grenadians are flocking the Grenada Youth Centre since Sunday, seeking the services of dentists and their assistants through a special project that was conceptualised by Gracelyn Bubb, a Grenadian who currently resides in New York and is the Clinical Manager of New York University College of Dentistry.
The one week free dental checkups project which began on Sunday 16 February and concludes this Friday, saw people lining up at the Grenada Youth Centre at Morne Rouge, since 6 am, although the dental care professionals began working at 7 am. On hand are dental specialists in: Oral Surgery, Endo Dentistry, General Dentistry, and Paediatric Dentistry.
“From the first day we crossed the 100 persons,” said Danielle Becker, programme administrator for Global Outreach, the organization which is behind the dental clinic. “It’s very, very busy,” she said while explaining that based on data, more than 1,000 persons will receive dental care during the week.
Bubb, who is from Boca said that she came up with the idea years ago as a means of providing free dental care to needy school children in Grenada. She recounted growing up without having a toothbrush of her own, and now having a better understanding about the importance of proper dental practice, she is prepared to make a difference in the life of not just children, but also adults.
“In the first two years, the services were offered at Tivoli, St Andrew, and this year makes it the second year we are in the Youth Centre; so maybe another venue might be selected next year, but I am committed to maintaining this service,” she said.
“Since our first clinic,” she recalled “we began a toothpaste and toothbrush programme for all primary schools that saw the distribution of more than 26,000 toothbrushes and toothpaste. This means that the children who receive the toothbrush will have one for use because we already tell them about the importance of dental care,” she said.
The cost for the entire clinic including accommodation is well beyond US$100,000 but various components receive grant support including from the NYU College of Dentistry. The Government of Grenada through the Ministry of Health also offers in country support to make the project a reality.