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You Ask...What's Happening with the Dental Clinic in Senegal?

AndreaSchmidAndreaSchmid Programs Senior Staffing ManagerPosts: 159 admin

I have exciting news to announce for all dental volunteers for the Senegal field service! As we have adjusted our dental program to fit the needs here in Guinea (partnering and collaborating with their dental school), we plan to continue doing the same in Senegal.

After several trips to Senegal and speaking with leaders in their Ministry of Health, it was expressed several times that the dental needs are not close to where the ship will be docked. Senegal has a more developed dental health system than we are used to. The major need is outside of Dakar.

For this reason, the whole dental team will be living off-ship in a team house during the Senegal field service. This will be a major change for our alumni dental team volunteers, but this is a great opportunity to treat patients who are less able to find dental treatment.

Our dental program will consist of two main components: a central clinic (in Sangalkam) located near the team house and a coinciding outreach program to schools in villages nearby. About half of our team will be at the central clinic, while the other half will visit a new school on a weekly basis to provide dental treatment to school-aged children. For cases that are too extensive or not suitable to treat in a school setting, a referral system will be set up for treatment at our central clinic. Many of our volunteer positions this coming year will require working in environments without air-conditioning.

The team house will be over 1 hour away from the ship, so visits to the ship will not be very frequent. We hope to make sure our dental volunteers still have the opportunity to take part in some community events, which we will plan.

We understand if some of you may be disappointed that you will not be staying on the ship this field service. If living off-ship is something you are not comfortable with or do not want to do, there still may be some opportunities on ship (as crew dentist or crew hygienist seeing long-term crew members).

This is not a permanent move for the dental program to be off-ship. The Senegal field service posed several potential problems with our normal way of doing the dental program, so we adjusted accordingly. We fully expect the dental team to be back on the ship for the following field service.


  • lisfaurholtlisfaurholt Dental Assistent Posts: 2

    I have just sent my answer to the survey. Would it be possible for me to be 2 weeks living off-ship and 2 weeks on-ship ? That would be my dream <3

  • AndreaSchmidAndreaSchmid Programs Senior Staffing Manager Posts: 159 admin

    @lisfaurholt I'm sorry, but that will not be an option for the Senegal Field Service. If you serve with Mercy Ships in Senegal, the duration of your service will be off-ship. You will travel to the ship probably once per week to participate in the community meeting or Sunday services.

  • LindaPatenaudeLindaPatenaude Posts: 4

    Hello Andrea. I have received my dates for Senegal, January 5-18, 2020. I understand that the dental team will be staying in a team house. Do you know what the accommodations will be? Like how many people to a room. And is the cost the same as the on ship cost? Just looking ahead so I can fund raise for the cost of travel & room & board. Thank you for any information you can provide.

  • AndreaSchmidAndreaSchmid Programs Senior Staffing Manager Posts: 159 admin


    Hi Linda,

    How wonderful that you will be serving in Senegal!

    Yes, the dental team will be staying in a team house in Senegal. The Advance Team is there now working on that. I don't yet know how many people there will be to a room, etc. I will be happy to let you know that information as soon as we have it.

    Yes, crew fees will be the same as on the ship.

    Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have here, or you can always contact your Volunteer Coordinator, Lauren Trewin, with questions as well.

  • LindaPatenaudeLindaPatenaude Posts: 4

    Thank you so much for your reply Andrea! I am looking forward to serving in Senegal!!

  • AndreaSchmidAndreaSchmid Programs Senior Staffing Manager Posts: 159 admin

    We have received details on the Dental Clinic Team house. It is located in Malika. The bedrooms have air conditioning, and there will mainly be four people to each room. There is internet; it is very close to the beach; and it is about a 20-30 minute drive to the clinic. So grateful such a great accommodation has been found to house our amazing volunteers!

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