The Dental Health Workers
The Dental Health Workers are women selected and trained to do the basic dental care in rural areas.
Advertising process to select Dental Health Worker is done by going to the villages and meeting the village headman or village president. The project is explained and needed person from the village is then interviewed. We interview 3-4 people and explain our needs. Those who are interested in becoming part of the developing community are selected and trained
The person is selected based on the following requirements
- Must be married (Stability)
- Desire to improve quality of life in their villages and surrounding areas
- Leadership and respectful
- Acceptance in their village (a married women with children are accepted by the population, to get the treatment done by them).
Our Dental Health Workers work within the close distance to their villages and schools in the surrounding areas to facilitate the communication and build a stronger trust factor.
At present we have a total of 11 Dental Health Workers out of which 2 Dental Health Workers are entrusted with extra responsibility as assistant and administrator.
These 2 Health workers go to each Sub-centres or schools to create the team of Dental Health Workers and Assistant – every day and to maintain the records of the treatment. Their working hours are on average 4 hours per day from Monday to Saturday.
Working hours for the other Dental Health Workers are 4 hours per week on average with different timing and schedule. Timing of the work may vary according to the need and financial stability of ADCERRA.
Training our Dental Health Workers
From 1993 to 1996 we trained 26 women from the villages to acquire pd skills parallely to basic knowledge
to become Dental Health Workers (like dental hygienists) who had no medical/dental background, just school level. This training went through 6 days from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM.
- Days 1, 2: they went through 12 exercises of body awareness in order to feel their preferred posture and body conditions for optional control and minimum stress.
- Days 3, 4, 5: they went though other exercises on simulated mouth for finger control with instruments in direct and indirect view.
- Day 6: in the clinic they had to drill in indirect view on a ‘simulation mouth’ with a turbine (high speed drill at 500.000 rpm) the grove on the occlusal surface of the first upper right molar, keeping their optimal posture / position with a balanced head.
It is one of the most difficult task for a dentist: controlling an extremely powerful device with a water spray (to cool down the tooth) to drill a soft acrylic tooth in indirect view!
They all made it within this last morning. I remember this magic and unique experience – only possible in pd condition with pd equipment and instruments – overwhelming everyone in a very concentrated state of mind: I didn’t know how far they could succeed but they did it with the joy to discover their ability to do a such precise task!
These women never held a turbine in their hand nor were used to do such a precise work with an accuracy of 2/10mm.
But they did it as human beings – not as professionals – by using best their body balance and therefore enhance the manual skills!
That the genius of this 0 Concept method: it accelerates the manual skill acquisition and can be applied anywhere in the world.
Of course, they will not drill cavities in the villages as there is not such sophisticated set-up depending of costly infrastructure with stable power, water and air compressed. They just acquired the manual skills in 24 hours (to be reinforced for few weeks and be self confident enough) to do the basic care with hand instruments without electricity – a still unique experience so far in rural India!
Profiles of Dental Health Workers
Mrs.Shanthi Mrs.Tamil Selvi
Mrs.Vijayalakshmi Mrs .Vimala