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Cambrian College Dental Hygiene Students Participate in Health Promotion Initiative in Vietnam

News Feature
Monday, May 14, 2012

On March 1, 2012, ten second-year Dental Hygiene students from Cambrian College, along with their professors, boarded a plane for Vietnam. Their mission was to travel to the hill tribe villages in Sapa, Vietnam, to promote oral health and provide hands-on oral hygiene education to local children. Prior to the trip, the students had conducted a lengthy fundraising campaign that included bake sales and the Walk for Oral Hygiene. Students were able to raise over $15,000 for the mission.

Students were given the opportunity to spend a few days in Hanoi where they visited the Old Quarter, the Museum of Ethnology, the Temple of Literature, a Water Puppet Show and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Presidential Palace. From Hanoi, students travelled to Sapa, which is a northern village in the mountains, where they worked with two different tribes; the Black H’mong tribe in the village of Ta Van and the Red Dao tribe in the village of Ta Phin. They handed out thousands of toothbrushes and floss and helped to educate students by providing oral hygiene lessons.

While in the villages, the students also created innovative dental hygiene activities, including the brushing song, which can be seen in the video.  As part of their mission, students were also able to share in an ethnic-style family experience in each of the respective villages where they spent a night with a host family. The final day in Hanoi was spent at one of the local orphanages, where students conducted more oral hygiene activities and also handed out toothbrushes and floss.

This mission was a life-altering experience for Cambrian’s dental hygiene students that also allowed them to put some of the skills they were taught at Cambrian College to use.

“All of our hard work and the months of meetings and fundraising events truly paid off and provided an invaluable and rich cross-cultural learning experience at a time when these students are preparing to embark on their professional careers,” said Nancy Rose, R.D.H, B.Sc., Professor at Cambrian College. 

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