Thanks to ongoing support through donations, the Misheel Kids Foundation is now able to provide permanent dental care for 975 children in orphanages and daycare centers in Ulaanbaatar. In 2022, the organization installed its mobile dental clinic twice in additional locations around the capital to reach children who do not live in the orphanages and daycare centers.
The organization also travels to remote regions of Mongolia at least twice a year on Dental Treks, which last several weeks – with the goal of providing regular support in areas far from the city that lack adequate dental care. In 2018, the first Dental Trek took place in northern Mongolia. This was still managed with rented equipment and instruments borrowed from clinics. We also had the support of a German dentist and a Mongolian female dentist.
Since then, the Misheel Kids Foundation has continuously expanded its commitment. By early 2019, the Foundation was already able to undertake the mission with two of its own mobile clinics, funded by the German Embassy, a Swiss dentist (Smile Clinix), and two Mongolian dentists. Despite the pandemic, the mobile dental team provided dental care to over 4600 children in remote regions in 2021 and 2022.
One of our great goals is to anchor mobile dental treatment in the yurt districts (ger districts) of the capital Ulaanbaatar in our action plan. The first mission with the mobile clinic in the ger districts took place during spring and fall of 2022. For the future, we want to set up our mobile clinic there at least every three months to ensure dental care for those children who cannot be reached through the day care centers and orphanages. Two Dental Treks per year to rural regions of Mongolia will be maintained.
Follow-up examinations as well as instructions for good oral hygiene and proper nutrition are enormously important to sustainably improve the oral health of the children. They also form the basis for continuous monitoring, which the foundation uses to document its work and measure its impact. So far, we can only offer regular treatments in the capital. In the rural areas, this would require an annual visit, which we are unable to implement. We have already been to the north several times and have been able to make a difference. But in the long run, together with the Mongolian authorities, we want to establish dental treatment stations in the remotest corners of Mongolia. Making our work visible and developing good relationships with government authorities is therefore of significant importance. In the long run, they are the ones who can ensure reliable health care for the children.
However, every child treated and educated in oral hygiene, is a step in the right direction. Those who take care of their teeth also do something for their overall health. Healthy teeth have a significant impact on the overall well-being.
An important goal of the Misheel Kids Foundation is quality assurance. The founder of the foundation, Gabriella Schmidt-Corsitto, coordinates the assignments of the participating practices. She accompanies the entire process and ensures that the necessary treatments for each child will be covered. At the end of each treatment, the quality of the work and of the materials used is assessed by a member of the treating team together with the founder. Only when all children have been treated and the treatment has been positively evaluated, the fee is paid to the practices. To ensure consistent quality, the Dental Treks are supervised by Gabriella Schmidt-Corsitto.
Through educational programs, individual dental treatments and regular routine check-ups, MKF ensures a sustainable improvement in the dental health and thus the lives of underprivileged children in Mongolia.