Bachelor of Oral Health Students involved in Sydney's Homeless Connect Program

22 July 2014

On 3 June 2014 Sydney Town Hall hosted the third annual Homeless Connect where Faculty of Dentistry staff and students joined other health professions in providing much needed basic oral health advice and free dental products.

Volunteer Bachelor of Oral Health students provided assistance by setting up and cleaning the bays and sterilisation of equipment, while teachers vetted patients for immediate urgent attention in the mobile dental clinic manned by two dentists and dental assistants.

Says BOH2 student, Arruni Kandasamy, "The Homeless Connect event gave me an opportunity to witness first-hand the serious gaps in oral health present at the different socioeconomic levels in our own city. As health professionals we are learning the importance of aiming our clinical skills, knowledge and profession towards bridging such gaps in healthcare".

Another BOH2 student, Aylin Savran, said: "I was astounded by the number of homeless people there are in Sydney alone, and hearing their stories and what they've been through was definitely eye-opening. It was distressing to see that, notwithstanding that many of the homeless understand the importance of their oral health and are often in extreme pain, they simply have 'more important' things to prioritise and hence, `live' with the pain. Being able to provide the smallest amount of care on the day and seeing their smiles was an extremely humbling experience. I hope that the event and our time have at least made a small contribution to bridging the gap between the homeless and the rest of our society. I'm looking forward to being involved again next year!"

Contact: Denise Fischer

Phone: 02 9351 8300

Email: 0c560c24262844353a38123c3d3731422d0c5926335b0007441f1945