By Joel van der Veen
DAVIDSON — An average farm labourer in rural Nicaragua can expect to earn $5 US for a day’s work.
At that salary, even inexpensive dental care — $50 for a tooth extraction, $80 for a filling — is beyond the reach of most people.
“You can understand why a lot of them aren’t getting to the dentist,” said Mary Jane Morrison. “That’s got to be pretty tough.”
Morrison was part of a team of 24 Canadians who visited Nicaragua last month on a medical mission trip, providing free dental and optical care to rural residents in the developing country in Central America.
The trip lasted from Feb. 11 to 20 and was organized by Change for Children, an Edmonton-based organization that celebrated its 40th anniversary last year.
The group was evenly split between medical professionals and volunteers, with four senior dentists, three student dentists, two hygienists and three optometrists on board.
Three of the participants had local connections, including Morrison, who lives in Davidson and works as secretary for the Sacred Heart Parish.
Another was Jeannie Lockwood, a longtime resident of the Davidson area who now lives in Saskatoon, where she works as a licensed practical nurse at City Hospital.
Also taking part was dentist Erik Johnson, the son of Everett and Vonné Johnson of Davidson.
Johnson, who practises dentistry in a clinic in Lloydminster, has made two prior trips to treat patients in developing countries.
For the full story, please see the March 13 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.