It is no secret that there is a crisis in Ukraine and a large number of Ukrainian refugees are in search of new homes. The support for refugees focuses on immediate needs, such as food and shelter. But dentists and the ADA also want to ensure these refugees can maintain their dental health even with everything going on in their lives. That is why the ADA asked the Ukraine Dental Association what the organization needs and what the ADA can do to help.
The ADA Wants to Help
The leadership of the ADA sent letters to the Ukraine Dental Association, the Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists, and the Polish Dental Society. These letters called for medical neutrality and upholding human rights.
More importantly, the letters called for the global dental community to help each other when necessary. The ADA told these organizations that they are part of the FDI World Dental Federation. And as such, the ADA wants to help.
The letter asked the organizations to tell the ADA what they urgently needed and how the association could help.
Taking Action as Well
Anyone can send a letter and claim to have done a good thing. But the ADA followed through. The Ukraine Dental Association let the ADA know it needed local anesthetic, sutures, and other dental supplies. The ADA Foundation responded by approving a grant for $50,000.
The ADA is also collecting follow-up donations that it will send to the Ukraine Dental Association in July. The ADA Foundation will identify what areas have the greatest need. Then it will divide the donations appropriately.
The FDI Also Shows Solidarity
The ADA is far from the only international organization to show support for Ukrainian refugees’ dental care. The FDI also released a statement of solidarity. The organization called for medical professionals, including dentists, to be able to continue safely providing care. The FDI also included an address where the dental community can send donations of emergency medical supplies. At the time, the most important supplies included medical gloves, medical masks, and local anesthetics. They also needed suture material, antibiotics, antipyretics, and disposable sterile surgical covers.
Other Organizations Also Show Support
Looking across the United States and around the world shows many other dental organizations with similar goals. For example, the Cleveland Maidan Association and Virginia Dental Association are working together to provide aid with help from a U.S. dentist who is originally from Ukraine. The California Dental Association also assists, including creating a Ukraine Relief Fund. Closer to home, the Illinois State Dental Society collects supplies for Ukrainian oral surgeons.
There are also significant localized efforts in Poland, where many refugees are arriving. International Medical Relief is organizing the help offered by dentists and other medical professionals there.
We are lucky to have easy access to dental care by scheduling appointments with Dr. Sharma. Unfortunately, some Ukrainian refugees don’t have the same resources, but the ADA and many other organizations are working to change this.