Local Rotary leads dental mission to Philippines

A temporary dental clinic led by the Mission Rotary is heading to the Philippines this week.

Dr. Stanley Soon (left) and Lloyd Rash pack supplies for the Rotary club's dental mission trip to the Philippines.

Dr. Stanley Soon (left) and Lloyd Rash pack supplies for the Rotary club's dental mission trip to the Philippines.

A team led by the Mission Rotary club is heading to the Philippines this week to provide dental services to children.

A ten-person team will set up a dental clinic for two weeks on Siqujior, a small island located about 200 kilometers south of where the typhoon struck the hardest.

Mission dentist and team leader Dr. Stanley Soon has been on four previous similar trips with the Rotary club.

“We’re excited. It’s part of our international service work that we do for Rotary. It’s very beneficial for the poor and the needy that don’t have regular elective dental care, and it promotes goodwill in the international community,” said Soon.

The Philippine trip has been planned for months prior to Typhoon Haiyan. Because Siqujior was not heavily damaged, the team is able to complete the trip as planned.

“This dental mission was planned last spring, and since the area we are going to did not receive much damage, our partnering Rotary club is asking us to still come,” said Soon.

Frequent dental procedures on such trips are treating dental decay, doing oral surgery such as extractions and treating infections, relieving pain, and making provisional dentures for people missing several teeth.

While the three dentists treat patients, other team members learn how to assist during procedures, sterilize tools, and provide intake and dental education.

“Everybody is very proud to donate their volunteer work in a poor country,” said Soon.

In the past, the Mission Rotary club has brought the clinic to Thailand, Guatemala, Zambia, and Ecuador. Members cover their own cost of transport, while the Rotary district and club cover supplies.

“We’d like to thank the community for their contribution to the Rotary club to make these missions possible. We have sponsors who have donated generously for our supplies and equipment,” said Soon.

White Rock’s Semiahmoo Rotary Club is also sending a dental team to set up a clinic in another area of Siqujior.