Volunteer Highlight | Kiwi Dentist's Story | YWAM Ships

Volunteer Highlight | Kiwi Dentist’s Story

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“We will see a generational change. It’s not going to happen in a day, but in 20-30 years time, I think we’ll run ourselves out of a job — which is what we’re here for. From a dental perspective, we’re seeing a real change.”

— Dr Daniel Sundaresan, Dentist 

Kiwi dentist Dr Daniel Sundaresan loved both his outreaches aboard the MV YWAM PNG’s floating dental clinic. For his most recent outreach in Oro Province, he worked alongside a dental team which consisted of volunteers from five different countries, including two Papua New Guinean dental therapists.

The team’s unity was invigorating. “I enjoyed that all of us took time off work to do more work. It’s really nice to see people…enjoying work and happy to work through lunch, or work late,” he said. A sense of the greater purpose brought the team together as they worked to provide accessible dentistry to the rural majority.

Dr Sundaresan’s personal highlights occurred when he got to work within his dentistry specialisation on the ship. As a specialist in special needs dentistry, he is concerned with disability engagement; when two young patients with Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy came aboard the ship, he was able to work with their particular needs. “With Edwin and the 4 year-old girl…those are the two people that make me feel it’s all worth it” he said. “It’s so worthwhile.”

Daniel treating a patient during a dental patrol to a remote village in Oro Province.

Interested in volunteering with YWAM Medical Ships? Positions for dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists and oral therapists are available in 2018/2019. For dates and information, visit www.ywamships.org.au/volunteer/

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