The Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour (SNIWWOC) is on the road with a van to provide women facing barriers with free dental services.
The van, provided by mobile dentistry service Wheely Clean, provides preventative oral healthcare services one Sunday a month, said Wheely Clean co-founder Danielle Ayotte during Aug. 22’s launch of the dental van at the Punjabi Akali Sikh Temple. That includes basic examinations, cleaning, polish and fluoride treatment as needed. Women self-identifying as Indigenous or a person of colour within 10 kilometres of downtown Victoria can book themselves and dependants for treatment through SNIWWOC.ca/dental-hygiene-clinic.
“Many low-income Canadians suffer from pain, discomfort, disability, and loss of opportunity because of poor oral health. Approximately six million Canadians avoid visiting the dentist every year because of the cost,” SNIWWOC noted in a press release.
The program plans to continue so long as it can be funded through community or government support, Ayotte said. She named Khalsa Aid and the Punjabi Akali Sikh Temple as crucial in that support. The Sikh humanitarian NGO has provided some program funding, while the temple made its parking lot available during the Sunday event.
|Paramjit Dhillon, Ominder Dhantoa, and Gurcharon Budwhal outside the Punjabi Akali Sikh Temple. Temple chair members Dhillon and Budwal have volunteered their parking lot for the use of Wheely Clean's dental services once a month. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
“I’d like to see preventative oral health services covered either by our provincial government or federal government within my lifetime, fingers crossed,” Ayotte said. “I feel like doing stuff like this is a great way to start pushing those envelopes and getting people aware and involved.”
Visit sniwwoc.ca/donate to support the organization.
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