Lissa, 19, is in 10th grade. She is doing well at school yet she was different from many other girls in her class. She smiled very little and when she did, she hid her smile behind her hands. When the mobile clinic came to her small village at Sucrerie Henri in southern Haiti, her only request was to see the dentist. At the triage area, with a barely audible voice she asked the nurse doing the screening, “Miss, are the dentists able to fix teeth?”
The poor girl was suffering from multiple cavities of the anterior teeth. The appearance of her bad teeth caused her to be constantly harassed, taunted, and bullied at school. They called her “rotten teeth Lissa” and she would cry in despair and ask her mom to send her to a doctor, dreading the toothaches that would keep her up at night, suffering.
Unfortunately, poor living conditions in small villages like Lissa’s makes even basic health services unavailable. Dentists are found mostly in the metropolitan areas or the main cities. The ratio for dentists in Haiti is 1 per 50,000 inhabitants (per International Dental Office).
Moreover, when they are available, dental care is above the budget of many households, and most people consult a dental specialist only when they need to extract a tooth that torments them. Dental hygiene education is rare knowledge in remote villages, and families often don’t have toothpaste.
Lissa’s mom did not have the means to send her daughter to a dentist, having to deal with school tuition and food costs; it was more than her crop-selling at the local market could afford.
When Lissa heard of the news that the WFL mobile clinic would include dental restoration, a ray of hope began to shine in her heart and she showed up early at the site waiting long hours, skipping school until she could finally access a dentist.
After restoration when she was shown how beautiful her smile was, her heart burst with gratitude, and tears of joy ran down her cheeks.
That day Lissa received more than her smile back; she received confidence as the beautiful masterpiece God created her to be.
Because you support the Water for Life mobile clinic activities, young women like Lissa can access a doctor or other specialist who often is lacking in remote villages.
With a donation of $9, you can help one person access quality health care in our mobile clinic. Either click the donate button at the top of this page, check out our website www.wflhaiti.org or mail your contribution to Water For Life, PO Box 456, Kalona, IA 52247. Thank you so much!