33 students from the College of Dentistry at Ajman University set out on a humanitarian campaign into the central Himalayan Country in the South Asia, Nepal. They headed off with the sole aim of targeting schools and refugee camps in Nepal to provide specialized oral hygiene, dental care and treatment to a large number of underprivileged Nepalese citizens and Bhutanese refugees based in Nepal.
The students who are currently in their third, fourth and fifth years at the College of Dentistry hail from Arab and Non-Arab countries who share the common love of humanity and a high sense of social responsibility. They took upon themselves to answer the call of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE, who declared 2017 as the Year of Giving.
Talal Sultan, the organizer and leader of the group explained that it started off as an idea proposed by him to a few students and then it grew into a campaign. “Friends and colleagues helped turn this beautiful idea into the most surreal experience of my/our lives”, he enthusiastically explained. He further shed light on the journey’s emotional experience, “being able to relieve the dental pain of the refugee children and adults, having being blessed by the opportunity to help others and draw a smile on their faces gave us a deep felt sense of happiness.
Fatima Mirza, accompanying student also related to this feeling, she stated that the “teamwork and coordination amongst our peers to ensure a smooth treatment of the patients ranging in all ages added to our experience as doctors”.
A fourth year student Abdullah Attia said “every patient who left the clinic was happy beyond expression. Our diagnose and treatment of patients which spanned over two weeks and everyone who visited us in the rented hospital we were operating in or the ones we treated in the camps, appreciated our care”.
The students appreciated the company “Volunteering Journeys” based in UK, which assisted in organizing this community campaign that witnessed the diagnosis and treatment of over 700 dental patients. This company has a simple but reliable agenda of Volunteer, Travel and Learn.
On his part, Dr. Salem Abu Fanas, Dean, College of Dentistry at the AU expressed his pride in this noble humanitarian initiative undertaken by the college students, which reflects the high level of social responsibility exhibited by the students.