Beirut Emergency Dental Clinic:
Lebanon is home to some 8 million persons, with the highest number of refugees per capita in the world. The Lebanese healthcare system and social security fund does not cover dental care, and, as such, these services are always covered from out-of-pocket payments. With the rise of poverty due to the influx of refugees over the last decade, the economic crisis, COVID-19 pandemic, and its heavily reliance on importation of dental medicine products, more than half of the residents of Lebanon cannot afford to visit the dentist. Additionally, the devastating explosion that occurred on the 4th of August, 2020 in Beirut’s port left many who suffered from oral trauma, without access to professional dental care.
Since mid-2017, Dental Mavericks has been bringing quality dental care to Lebanon to alleviate the suffering of the protracted displacement of Syrian refugees and to the vulnerable members of host communities.
In 2020, Dental Mavericks faced a new challenge: to provide dental care to the most vulnerable in a safe environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since outreach projects inside community centers and schools were unable to grant enough protection for both the dentists and beneficiaries, Dental Mavericks introduced a new project called “Emergency Dental Clinic in Beirut”, where patients are currently being treated inside existing dental clinics with proper COVID-19 precautions.
When it began, this project reached out to victims of the explosion in Beirut, but soon the service became accessible to everyone negatively impacted by the economic crisis in Lebanon, and who can therefore not afford dental treatment. Between September 2020 and May 2021 we gave to our beneficiaries 1.223 free appointments with patient satisfaction rate above 90% in all categories measured (e.g. empathy, cleanliness, comfort). The services offered through the Beirut Emergency Clinic is a result of collaboration with private dental clinics in Beirut.
The patients first register with Dental Mavericks and undergo a telephone consultation (a COVID-19 precaution), following which they receive an appointment. We are currently collaborating with two private dental practices in Beirut, and a group of local dentists. Dental Mavericks cover the cost of personal protective equipment (PPEs), dental supplies and small consultation fee. The treatments offered to beneficiaries include: extractions, composite fillings, root canal treatment, pulpotomy and aim to relieve pain and remove major sources of infection to prevent future exacerbation of symptoms.
This project is financially sustained with four major sources of financing: private donations, sponsorship program, fundraising campaigns and grants (Choose Love, Caritas Poland).