Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope


DentalHope 006

This is an old picture from 2009, when I joined a community service by Bintan Resorts and the Singapore Dental Association, together with the participation of the Health Office, Police, and (yes!) Army, providing free dental service in Tanjung Uban, north Bintan.

Here’s the catch: The service was done in Tanjung Uban’s town hall, which at that time has no electricity nor water running. All tools and equipments (including modular portable operatory system) and necessary medicine were brought in from Singapore. And can you imagine how many sets of sterile tools needed as we could not sterilize and reuse the tools? All patient chairs were arranged to face the big windows to maximize the use of natural light. And when that was not enough, one dentist or nurse will flash a torchlight into the patient’s mouth cavity.

The workflow was as follows:

  1. patient registration in the verandah
  2. general checkup: standing in the verandah, a dentist will examine and write down work-orders.
  3. Queue inside, waiting for an empty chair by the window
  4. Execution of work order
  5. Go to final desk to receive vitamins and medicine (if needed)

The response from the community was overwhelming, both young and old. To the community, the free service is the kind of hope that lifted up their spirits. To the volunteers, they did what Carl Gustav Jung once said, “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” I am pretty sure that this activity also lifted up their hearts.

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All were taken with a Sony DSC-H50 camera.

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