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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Scores of residents in Somerton, St. James, and its environs benefited from free dental services during the Great Shape! Inc. 1000 Smiles Project dental clinic.
  • The five-day engagement, which was held at the Somerton All-Age School from September 2 to 6, was led by a team of 45 student and professional dental care volunteers from the United States of America (USA), Canada, and the Caribbean.
  • Among the services provided were fillings, cleanings, and extractions, along with a series of oral health seminars. The clinic was staged in collaboration with the Sandals Foundation.

Scores of residents in Somerton, St. James, and its environs benefited from free dental services during the Great Shape! Inc. 1000 Smiles Project dental clinic.

The five-day engagement, which was held at the Somerton All-Age School from September 2 to 6, was led by a team of 45 student and professional dental care volunteers from the United States of America (USA), Canada, and the Caribbean.

Among the services provided were fillings, cleanings, and extractions, along with a series of oral health seminars. The clinic was staged in collaboration with the Sandals Foundation.

Regional Public Relations Coordinator for Sandals Resorts Montego Bay Region, Sherine Williams, told JIS News, that by partnering with Great Shape, the Foundation was able to aid in the organisation’s goal to “reach people and educate them about great homecare and proper dental hygiene”.

“The partnership is quite fitting and is beneficial for both charities, because we are able to achieve the aim that we both have,” Ms. Williams stated.

The Sandals Foundation donates more than $2 million in accommodations, in-country transportation and food to the Great Shape organisation on their annual missions to the region.

The Foundation has been a part of the project for 10 years. However, Great Shape’s partnership with the Sandals Resorts International brand has been ongoing for 17 years.

For his part, volunteer dentist with Great Shape, Dr. Al Hasan, told JIS News that he was very happy to be on the island to aid persons who are in need of dental care, and thanked Jamaican officials as well as Sandals for partnering with the organisation.

Dr. Hasan pointed out that the volunteers saw over 200 patients daily during the clinic in Somerton, in keeping with their endeavour to accommodate as many persons as was possible.

“Thanks to everyone who put an effort into facilitating [the clinics on the island]… we really appreciate it,” he added.

Meanwhile, Somerton resident, Cleon Reid, who got his teeth cleaned at the clinic, told JIS News that he was pleased with the service.

“The experience I had was tremendous. I am grateful to them (Great Shape volunteers) for the good work that they are doing and [I hope] they continue to help people,” Mr. Reid said.

Great Shape! Inc.’s 1000 Smiles Project provides free access to dental care services to families in the Caribbean. The project targets rural areas that have limited access to these provisions.

The project is an initiative by Great Shape! Inc., a USA-based non-profit organisation.

The Great Shape! Inc. 1000 Smiles Project dental clinics are also held in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Wellness as well as the University of Technology (UTech).

The Somerton dental clinic was held simultaneously with clinics in Mount Carey and Spring Mount in the parish.

Great Shape’s next series of clinics will be held in Westmoreland over the following week.

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