Mary Bobbett, RDH, a Nevada reader, recently spent 10 days in Bosnia. She was part of a dental support team offering aid to refugees. Bobbett worked in a clinic located in the small village of Medjugorje. Dentists and hygienists staff the clinic by volunteering their time and paying their own way.
"Once word gets out that the Americans are coming the clinic is full from early morning to evening with children and adults waiting to be freed of pain and suffering," Bobbett said. "Volunteers are always needed. Many people have made the trip several times. It is a long trip and well worth the sacrifice to be able to help these people."
She said accommodations were simple and clean. The price of the trip included breakfast and dinner prepared by the families hosting the dental professionals.
Bobbett`s group was led by Sandy Tobin of Pilgrims` Peace Center, which is based in Clearwater, Fla. Tobin has made the trip more than 70 times, always bringing donated medical supplies, clothing, and food.
"On our trip, a 40-foot container included a new anesthesia machine that was delivered to the hospital in Mostar," Bobbett said. "Up until this time, the doctors were operating on patients without anesthesia. Vodka was all they had. They cried when they saw this gift!"
The basement of a private home serves as the clinic. Built by an American contractor in 1996, the clinic is set up to be run by an American dentist with all equipment and supplies provided by American sources.