The Covid-19 pandemic continues to make its presence felt throughout the world. In Australia, although we have managed to “flatten the curve”, and we have had many less infections and deaths than many other unfortunate countries, we are not out of the woods yet. Timor remains in a partial lockdown, even though (thankfully) they have had only 24 cases as of last week.
Uncertainty remains the word that defines 2020. We are uncertain about the safety of our Timorese employees, especially with Timorese spitting practices, and we are uncertain about the safety of volunteers in-country. Dentistry is extremely high risk for Covid infection due to the amount of aerosols that are produced while treating patients, and the proximity of the dental team to the patient’s mouth. There is also uncertainty with regards to overseas travel, which is banned for Australians for the foreseeable future.
Hence, it is with great disappointment that the TLDP has decided to cancel the remainder of our trips to TL. We shall have to have a do-over in 2021!
In the meantime, there’s still heaps going on –
- Ana Paula is slogging away in Fiji University. She is in her first year of dentistry and is finding it an extremely challenging task to deal with the new online delivery of coursework.
- We are developing our electronic clinical record. It’s almost finished!
- As PPE is almost non-existent in TL, we are trying to get PPE and dental supplies over to our Maubara team, as well as to the Sisters, who run a primary health clinic in Maubara….with shipping disruption, this is still a work in progress.