Friday, June 14, 2024

Hindu org, UN to assist Bhutanese refugees


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Washington: A Hindu American body has partnered with the United Nations to assist Bhutanese Hindu refugees in Nepal to serve their medical needs.

Under this partnership the Washington-based Hindu American Foundation (HAF) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will focus their initial efforts on creating a dental awareness camp in Nepal to train 30 volunteers every year in basic dental hygiene and equip them to assist the larger Bhutanese refugee population.

In particular, the trainings will address issues such as oral anatomy, major dental disease, and prevention and treatment of oral problems. Additionally, the practical use of local anesthetics, dental extractions, and proper cleaning methods will be taught during the training sessions, said a HAF media release.

The project is being funded entirely by HAF and will be facilitated by UNHCR in conjunction with the Asian Medical Doctors Association (AMDA)-Nepal.

Furthermore, the Indian American Dental Association (IADA) has agreed to provide logistical and educational support for the program.

Beyond the provision of dental care, HAF is collaborating with UNHCR to sponsor a board certified psychologist to travel to Nepal three times a year, in order to provide psychological assistance to the refugees on a wide range of mental health issues.

The initiative arose following a recent fact-finding mission by HAF doctors to UNHCR administered camps in Damak, Nepal, where they conducted a detailed medical assessment on the needs of the refugees.

According to HAF, the initiative is expected to cost USD 15,000 per year, over a three year period. “HAF is pleased to be partnering with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in addressing the dental and psychological needs of the Bhutanese refugees,” said Arvind Chandrakantan, HAF executive council member. (PTI)


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