Friday, March 12, 2010

Dental health lesson

As you may remember, each STEP course includes a few health lessons.  After each lesson, the participants translate health materials such as posters or books into their language to help them share what they learned with their communities.

This week we had a presentation on dental health by SIL’s dentist – Nelis Tumae.  Both Brian and I have gone to see Nelis at the clinic, and he does an excellent job.  (He also happens to be a neighbor of ours).  There are relatively few practicing dentists in Papua New Guinea, and most Papua New Guineans will only go to see a dentist if they have major problems.  With a traditional PNG diet, tooth decay was not a big issue, but with the growing popularity of rice, flour, sweets and soda, it’s becoming more and more of a problem.

Nelis taught the students about brushing their teeth, and also about flossing, which was a new concept to almost all of them.  He also showed them a slideshow of some major restorative dental work that he has done, and I think the students were all suitably impressed.

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