On November 16, Sunstar Foundation presented a mobile dental examination and treatment device to a temporary dental clinic in Otsuchi-cho, Iwate, a town devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
There were originally 6 dental clinics in the city, but all were severely damaged in the earthquake. Since the disaster, this temporary clinic is the only one to have resumed services. Currently, 3 dentists see more than 100 patients per day.
The mobile examination and treatment device is equipped with machinery that enables the provision of dental services as good as those in a dental clinic. This makes it easier for health care professionals to visit and provide care and treatment in this particular area where there are many elderly residents (about 30% of the citizens). This donation has therefore greatly improved the oral health of the Otsuchi-cho residents.
Dr. Hajime Komatsu, Director of the Otsuchi-cho Temporary Dental Clinic, said, "Adjustment of false teeth or dentures was the most we could do in the at-home dental services we have provided so far. We are grateful because we will be able to offer more diverse dental services from now on."
Mr. Yoshihito Honda, President of the Sunstar Foundation, who attended the donation ceremony, said, "I am very happy that we have been able to use this donation entrusted to our foundation by the Volkshilfe, an Austrian social welfare organization, to support such an important cause."
The reporters and photographers from newspaper companies and TV stations who came to the ceremony mentioned in the news report that maintaining good oral health is of great importance because it helps prevents pneumonia, a frequent cause of disaster-related death among elderly people.