Dental Volunteerism For Marginalized Community
AbstractMarginalized community refers to a small group of people who are vulnerable, oppressed or underserved which include low-income individuals, homeless, native people and refugees. Oral healthcare among this group of people requires more attention. This predicament led a group of students and lecturers from the Faculty of Dentistry, University Sains Islam Malaysia to develop a dental community service programme. This study aimed to determine the background of patients involved in the programme, to identify the common medical problems and treatment needs for the patients in the marginalized community. Periodic visits were arranged for the selected centre for the past three years. During the visits, dental screening and treatment were documented in the dental treatment card. The dental screenings were carried out for 431 patients in the Chow Kit area and 217 patients in the Rohingya Refugees centre. More than a quarter of the total number of patients received basic dental treatment such as restorations and scaling. The study found that the distribution of patients attending both programmes differs in terms of the age range. The most common medical problems among patients are hypertension and diabetes mellitus and in comparison, communicable diseases were more common to be found among the homeless. The need for restoration and extraction were high in both programmes.
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