Free dental treatment targets Wairoa whānau

PHOTO: Provided

Today – Friday, January 7, 2022 – is the last day to register your interest in Tō Waha – a free week-long event for whānau in Wairoa in need of urgent dental care.

Relief is in sight for whānau in Wairoa in need of urgent dental treatment with a one-time week-long event, Tō Waha, later this month.

Free dental service for those aged 18 and over will be held at the Wairoa Community Oral Health Clinic from Monday January 17 to Saturday January 22, 2022.

The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board is working with the Wairoa Community Partnership Implementation Group, iwi, community leaders and other health providers to organize the event.

Today – Friday January 7, 2022 – is the last day to register your interest.

Attendance is by appointment only and is coordinated by local providers from hauora Kahungunu Executive, Te Whare Maire o Tapuwae Trust and Queen St Practice.

Wairoa District Council Deputy Mayor Hine Flood – who is also vice chair of the Wairoa Community Partnership Governance Group – paid tribute to DHB and its Maori health team as well as the 28 dentists, hygienists and support staff who voluntarily support the kaupapa.

Flood says this is an opportunity for whānau with urgent, untreated dental disease, who would otherwise not be able to access or afford dental treatment, to be seen by a dentist. The city currently has no adult dental service.

“Wairoa has been at a critical point with no dental services available to our community for a few years now.

“So this is a collaborative effort to not only undertake this initiative, but to ultimately examine a model of oral health that is appropriate and sustainable over the long term for our city. “

Hawke’s Bay DHB Maori Health Executive Director Patrick Le Geyt said the event addresses the immediate critical need for dental care.

“Tō Waha can only function with dentists, dental hygienists and other health professionals who volunteer their time,” explains Le Geyt.

“Feedback from the dental community has been very positive, showing a real willingness to participate in community events such as Tō Waha to help address unmet dental needs.

“Funded by the Royston Health Trust and the Princess Alexandra Medical Trust, this initiative is really about supporting communities in need. “

Tō Waha shows that a Whānau Ora approach, as well as the involvement of communities and community-oriented organizations in the design of how the service is provided, is essential for success, says Le Geyt.

Other healthcare professionals supported Tō Waha so that checkups such as cervical smears for diabetes could be done alongside dental treatment.

“Even if reservations are full and people are on a waiting list, they can come and talk to someone about any other health problem they might have.

“Hawke’s Bay DHB will continue to help the community of Wairoa develop options for a long term sustainable solution for dental care. “

Anyone hoping to be seen for dental treatment during Tō Waha Week in Wairoa can contact Hine Flood through their Facebook page.

Source: Hawke’s Bay DHB press release and other Waatea News reporting

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