Dartmouth dentist to provide free dental care at Syrian refugee camp
BEDFORD, N.S. – A Dartmouth dentist plans to travel to Jordan next month to provide free dental care for Syrian refugees.
“Root canals, fillings, extractions, cleanings – anything that they need, we’re going to try our best to provide,” said Asraa El-Darahali, a dentist at Summit Dentistry in Bedford.
She and a few dozen volunteers with the Syrian American Medical Society will travel to the Zaatari refugee camp, not far from the Syrian border, on November 13 for a week.
“The humanitarian assistance is just able to provide [the] basic necessities,” said Furio De Angelis, the Canadian representative for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, on Skype from Ottawa.
He said the camp is home to over 110,000 people, and that many refugees already arrive there with health issues.
“Fifty-one per cent of camp populations are actually children,” said De Angelis.
El-Darahali, who was born in Kuwait, is working extra days to take time off for the trip, which she said she paid for by herself. She is also raising money online to buy necessary dental equipment and medical supplies.
El-Darahali said she expects a week of hard work and some culture shock, but believes the experience will be worth it to “maybe give them a smile that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.”
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