I (Sara Mantlik, project manager) had the amazing opportunity of accompanying IMAHelps on their 2015 medical/ dental mission trip. Although I volunteered in registration during my time in Zacatecoluca, El Salvador, I was able to see the make shift dental rooms and get valuable feedback from the volunteers on the mobile unit designs.
On the first day of the mission we had to spend more than five hours setting up the dental space. There were only two available dental chairs but four volunteer dentists. This caused two of the dentists to have to use an old massage table found in the hospital junk yard and an old examination chair. There was always a technician close by due to the constantly failing equipment from inadequate power. Dr. Gonzalez told me that these were good conditions because at least there was air conditioning and the chairs weren’t completely broken. Through all of the issues they experienced, the volunteers were still able to treat almost 1000 patients.
*Both photos taken by Marilyn Chung, the volunteer photographer and reporter on the trip.