In the past year, Cadena de Amor conducted 12 dental brigades in villages near Tegucigalpa, Honduras, treating nearly 3,000 children.
As you may know, the primary mission of Heart for Hope and Cadena de Amor involves providing dental care and oral hygiene instruction for grade school children. To that end, Cadena de Amor organizes teams to visit a number of village schools each year. Some of the teams include international volunteers, but most teams are only staffed by the Honduran dentists and several assistants.
Cadena de Amor treated 2,859 children in our 2022-23 fiscal year, providing 3,589 silver amalgam fillings, 7,363 composite or plastic restorations, 740 cleanings, 3,602 sealants, and1,311 extractions. In addition, every student received a new toothbrush and toothpaste along with 30 minutes of dental hygiene education.
These statistics, compiled by the staff of Cadena de Amor, illustrate the considerable success of these dental teams. However, numbers do not tell the complete story. Cadena de Amor has found it vital to return regularly to the same schools to reinforce the dental education of the children. This has been a key component of the success of this program. As I travel to Honduras several times a year, I have the opportunity to observe the children in the schools. The difference in the oral health of the children as they progress through their grade school years is very apparent; in the upper grades of each school we visit, the children need less dental treatment and have much healthier appearing teeth and gums.
It is important also to note the support of the school principals, teachers, and community leaders for the village we serve. Their help and belief in our program are an important part of our success story. Thanks to everyone in this past year who have volunteered, donated funds, and contributed in other ways to make all this work.