MOTLAN

TOOTH

Health and Healing Program: Dental
OUR WINDOW TO HEALTH
OUR WINDOW TO HEALTH
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SUMMARY

Anyone who has suffered the pain of a tooth abscess knows the value of a good dentist. Launched in 2007, the Motlan Dental and Oral Health Program provides a vital service at low cost in this large rural community. In fact, it still is the only dental service available locally. Attending to more than 800 children and adults each year, the program is gradually raising awareness of the importance of oral health, hygiene and higher nutrient diets.

CHALLENGE

The Nahua villagers earn a meager living by weaving palm baskets and selling them to tourists throughout Mexico. Laboratory studies revealed toxic metals in their water, soil, palm dyes and clay cooking pots. These toxins produce a silent crisis of slow poisoning. Many children are undernourished, suffering from low levels of chronic toxicity, and often do poorly in school. The majority of adult women are illiterate. Macho male attitudes, alcoholism and domestic violence seriously affect daily life.

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SOLUTION

Living in acute poverty often results in bad teeth. Launched in 2007, the Motlan Dental and Oral Health Program provides free basic dental services to all children under 13 years and at low cost to others. A qualified dentist and two dental promotors, both local women trained on the job, offer services one to two days per week. They teach oral hygiene and proper toothbrushing as well as nutrition knowledge.

LONG-TERM IMPACT

Atzin's Motlan Dental Program provides a vital service at low cost. Motlan continues to be the only dental service in this large community, attending to children and adults each year in the clinic and in the village schools. Combining acute care with oral hygiene and nutrition education, the program is gradually raising awareness of the importance of dental health and higher nutrient diets among villagers, contributing to an increased quality of life.

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ATZIN Desarrollo Comunitario, A.C.

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Atzin Canada: atzincanada@gmail.com
Atzin Mexico: atzinmexico97@gmail.com