The Aviva Dental Clinic, part of the Seenigama Medicare Centre located at the MCC Centre of Excellence, has been providing dental care to patients from 25+ villages in southern Sri Lanka for the last 18 months for nearly 4,000 patients.
The Dental Clinic was opened on 16th October 2007 thanks to the generosity of insurance group, Aviva UK. Aviva joined in partnership with the Foundation of Goodness in 2005, to build a post-tsunami housing complex in Seenigama. To show their level of caring for the affected villagers, Aviva also funded the construction of the dental clinic at the MCC Centre of Excellence.
The Dental Clinic is uniquely located in the heart of Seenigama village, thus breaking down barriers that many disadvantaged rural communities face in accessing good quality oral health care, treatment and advice. All consultations and treatments are provided free of charge, ensuring that the many families who live below the poverty line in the area are able to receive top quality care.
The clinic employs a full time dentist and a nurse. It is open five days a week to all-comers and caters to over 200 patients a month.
Now the vital work done by this clinic has been recognised by the GP Practitioners, who have provided a sustainability grant to allow the many villagers to continue to benefit in order to improve their own and their children's dental health. This work is not just a temporary filling, but a long-term solution for the health and wellbeing of local children and their parents' and grandparents, through education, preventative dental care and access to emergency treatment.
At a special ceremony, Kushil Gunasekera, Founder and Trustee of the Foundation of Goodness, received the donation and met the individual sponsors from the TASK FORCE ON DISASTER MANAGEMENT - COLLEGE OF GENERAL PRACTITIONERS OF SRI LANKA who had received this Tsunami rebuilding lives grant by courtesy of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice, Florida, USA.
The following personnel participated at the ceremony of handing over the grant to the Foundation:
Dr. Preethi Wijegoonawardena, President
Dr. Connie Pallewela
Dr. Eugene Corea
Dr. Pushpa Weerasinghe
Prof. Leela Karunaratne
Mrs. Nirmala Abeysekera
The generosity of the GP Practitioners Task Force is wonderful news for the clinic, which has been facing severe funding shortages due to the shifting in emphasis of previous donors. They have recognised that this is not only a Tsunami project, but a community-development service that must be sustained if the gap between urban and rural sectors is to be bridged.
Following a visit to Seenigama, the Doctors immediately saw the value of the work and have pledged funding for a year to keep the clinic running.
We would like to thank the doctors involved for their kindness and compassion towards rural communities and their support of our work to uplift rural lives by providing vital services that those in the cities take for granted.
The dental clinic brought smiles to the Lahiru Pre School last month, when all 69 children aged 3-5 were taken for a oral health check up, sponsored by Australian volunteers Nick and Dave, who raised money from friends and family to be able to provide essential items to village children, including toothbrushes for every Pre-school child. Such generosity and initiative is an inspiration to staff and future volunteers as people of all nations and backgrounds join together in their work for humanity and the uplifting of rural communities.
“You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give”