Providing 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. Thus, “Sagip Ngipin, Ngiting Kayganda”, Charity First Foundation’s dental program was launched in September 2002.
Headed by Dra. Rosa Fruto-Garcia and a pool of committed volunteer dentists, the program began by conducting bi-weekly free dental clinics performing “Tooth Fillings” and “Tooth Extractions” at Our Lady of Divine Providence in Payatas. In 2003, the clinics were transferred to the Philippine Buddhacare Academy.
In March of 2004, the first out-of-town mission was held in Cardona, Rizal. It 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.
From then till now, Charity First’s “Sagip Ngipin Ngiting Kay Ganda” carries out its mission of bringing brighter smiles by providing free dental health services every Wednesday and Sunday at the Philippine Buddhacare Academy. The program also conducts 3-day out-of-town missions at least twice a year, and monthly 1-day missions in collaboration with other organizations. Beneficiaries of these missions also receive free medicines after tooth extractions, as well as health kits that include toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, towels and slippers. The missions also instruct children on proper oral dental 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, “Sagip Ngipin Ngiting Kayganda”, Charity First’s Foundation’s 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.