Disaster Relief Efforts
When disasters around the world occur, the American Dental Association and its members respond to provide assistance. Some recent examples of this vital support include relief and rebuilding efforts following the earthquate in Haiti and tsunami in Japan.
The Division of Global Affairs manages these humanitarian relief programs on behalf of ADA members, working closely with other organizations, national dental associations in the affected country (when possible), and dentists and health care professionals in the affected country. These projects position the ADA as an active partner in the global oral health arena to contribute to improvements in oral health worldwide.
Adopt-a-Practice: Rebuilding Dental Offices in Haiti
On Jan. 12, 2010, a massive earthquake devastated 35 dental practices in Port-au-Prince, Haiti—nearly a third of the city’s dental offices. With about 350 dentists for a population of 9 million, Haiti has the lowest ratio of dentists per population in the Western hemisphere. Due to the depressed economy in Haiti, even a small contribution can make a difference.
Three years later, seven dentists are now treating patients and providing free care in their community thanks to the ADA/HVO Adopt-a-Practice Rebuilding Dental Offices in Haiti campaign. The Haitian dental practices that received support for reconstruction intend to “pay-it-forward,” continuing to donate some of their dental services to a very needy population.
ADA members around the world generously donated funds through the ADA to Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) to make this project possible. A local dental equipment distributor, Prodentos, helped to outfit the new offices. Dr. Vadna Georges, pictured, is one of the dentists who received new equipment.
Read more about how ADA members are helping transform lives in Haiti in the January 21, 2013 ADA News. View a video from 2011 about the disaster and the ADA/HVO support.
Assistance to Affected Dentists, Practices in Japan
On March 11, 2011, Japan experienced a multi-dimensional disaster that left over 10,000 dead and 17,000 missing. The disaster impacted many Japan Dental Association (JDA) members and dental practices: 562 JDA members were affected, and more than 1,200 offices and clinics were destroyed or closed for a lengthy period.
The Division of Global Affairs spearheaded fundraising efforts for ADA members who wished to support the JDA in relief. Henry Schein Cares Foundation and the Japanese American Dental Society also contributed funds, and all contributions were matched by the ADA Foundation. Approximately $63,000 was donated to the JDA to assist in their recovery and relief efforts.
Read more about the JDA's relief efforts and ADA member support to the JDA in the June 2011 ADA News.