Paraguay Outreach

In August 2012 Dr. Haleh Ashkevari will go again on an outreach mission organised by the HMO in Paraguay.

After travelling more than 20 hours from Toronto to Bañado Sur (the Mission area), the dental team will start working the next day for five consecutive days (non-stop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with only lunch and bathroom breaks). The dental treatment they provide ranges from extractions to restorative and endodontic. An overload from medical and dental patients is quite normal in such missions.

Here’s a video about Bañado Sur, where the Mission will be based:

The Bañado Sur, located on the banks of the Paraguay River and at the foot of a landfill, thousands of people live on the edge and in extreme poverty in humble communicated with rugged unpaved streets in an area where scarcity, crime, drug abuse and dysfunctional families are part of everyday life, according to the press.

The houses, made from cardboard, wood and plywood, are frequently flooded due to rains or occasional flooding of the river. due to the lack of resources, children don’t have the possibility of going to school and spend the day outdoors. This situation of neglect makes them easy prey to numerous threats such as drug use, violence, abuse and sexual abuse.

Some data:

  • The majority of families living in poverty Bañados extreme and have a high average membership (5.1 members per family).
  • In the country as a whole is undergoing a process of “infantilization” of poverty,  in the case of the Marshes, specifically, 48% of the population are under 6 years of age.
  • Most / as householders have not completed compulsory basic schooling and does not reach 1% of people who completed high school. Food is very deficient, malnutrition still a serious problem that affects 15% of the population.
  • The most common diseases affecting children in Bañado are gastroenteritis and diarrhea, allergies, asthma, influenza and malnutrition. They also have a high incidence of parasitosis and rickets, in relation to the living conditions of the area (the lack of drinking water, living with domestic and farm animals, etc...)