About 2.2 million out of Mongolia’s 3.3 million inhabitants currently live in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. Many of them come from rural regions and try, often in vain, to build up a new life in the capital. A whole generation of young Mongolians are growing up between the walls of apartment buildings, newly built peri-urban settlements or in the ever growing so-called ger districts (yurt districts) in the city. Here, those who have found neither a connection nor prospects in the modern city, have pitched their tents and live hand to mouth. Not infrequently, the children of these ‘fortune seekers’ fall by the wayside. Beyond the city, in the vastness of the countryside, children usually remain unreachable by health care services, and in the city, the poverty of the families prevents adequate health care.
MKF seeks to reach children at both ends of the spectrum.
After our initial focus on treating children in orphanages and daycare centers, the project now aims to reach a significant number of children in ger districts outside the city by 2024. For this, temporary clinics will be established in the districts where the children in need reside.
We will also expand our Dental Treks to reach children in rural areas. While our treks have so far exclusively treated the Tsaatan population in the north of the country, in 2021 we will visit additional sites in the west and east with our mobile dental clinics. For the next three years, we are planning at least two large rural tours covering two to three sites in western and eastern Mongolia.
Thanks to ongoing support through donations, MKF has successfully undertaken treatment for 949 children in orphanages and daycare centers to date….
In addition, another 35 children in Selenge Aimag province were treated by MKF. This was done as part of a dental preservation program that included preventative healthcare lessons as well as treatment. This was initiated and financed by Altan Taria, a family business (flour producer) based in the province.
In 2018, MKF undertook its first Dental Trek, a 2000 km trip to remote rural areas of Mongolia. These trips will be repeated annually with the goal of providing regular support in areas that lack adequate dental care. During the annual Dental Treks, an additional 1,167 children have been treated to date.
An important goal of the project is quality assurance. The two project managers coordinate the work of the participating clinics, overseeing the entire process and thus ensuring the treatment for each patient child is fully monitored. After the completion of each treatment, the quality of the work and the material used is assessed by a member of the treatment team together with one of the two MKF founders. Only when all children from a single child care centre have been treated, and the treatments have been positively evaluated, is the approved invoice paid to the participating clinics. To ensure consistent quality, the Dental Treks are supervised by Ms. Schmidt-Corsitto.
Through educational programs, individual dental treatment packages and regular routine check-ups, MKF ensures a sustainable improvement in dental health and thus the lives of these underprivileged children.