Ngiting Kay Ganda
free dental services and education to poor communities
Recognizing that most Filipinos from marginalized sectors cannot afford proper dental care, Charity First Foundation conceived of a dental outreach program that would not only perform tooth extractions and tooth fillings but would promote better oral health through imparting knowledge regarding proper oral hygiene. As a result, the organization's dentistry program, Sagip Ngipin, Ngiting Kay Ganda, was introduced in September 2002.
Volunteer Dentists led by Dra. Rosa
The program began by conducting bi-weekly free dental clinics, headed by Dra. Rosa Fruto-Garcia and a pool of committed volunteer dentists, where they performed tooth fillings and tooth extractions at Our Lady of Divine Providence in Payatas. In 2003, the clinics were transferred to the Philippine Buddhacare Academy.
This mission was followed by a second one in the province of Isabela held at the Cauyan District Hospital on May 4-6, 2005, in partnership with the Isabela Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce, where 59 indigent patients were served.
In March of 2004, the first out-of-town mission was held in Cardona, Rizal and served a total of 450 patients. Other out-of-town missions were held in Dagupan, La Union, Isabela, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite to reach communities unable to avail of free dental services.
"The goal of the program is to promote dental health to the least fortunate of our brothers and sisters. We want to do our part in our own little way, as we try to promote oral health and preventive dentistry, especially in indigent communities. "
– Dra. Rosa Fruto-Garcia
In 2007, Charity First’s dental program also partnered with Childhope Asia (CHAP), a non-government organization for street children, to provide free dental services to street children. A total of 815 street children were served during this partnership.
Since then, every Wednesday and Sunday at the Philippine Buddhacare Academy, Sagip Ngipin, Ngiting Kay Ganda has carried out its aim of bringing brighter smiles by offering free dental health services. The program also conducts 3-day out-of-town missions at least twice a year, and monthly one-day missions in collaboration with other organizations. Beneficiaries of these missions also receive free medicine after tooth extractions, as well as health kits that include toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, towels, and slippers. The missions also teach children how to maintain good dental and oral hygiene.
In partnership with Philippine Buddhacare Academy, NU College of Dentistry, UEDHT, Child Hope Asia, Makati Dental Society, PAED, UEDHT Alumni Association, Rotary Clubs, selected LGUs, and other NGOs, the Sagip Ngipin Ngiting Kay Ganda dental program and its pool of committed volunteer dentists continue to provide free dental services to Filipinos.
To date, more than 27,000 patients from indigent communities have been able to avail of tooth filling and tooth extraction services through these missions.