Special Olympics Peru established a Healthy Athletes partnership with the Universidad San Martin de Porres Dental School in 2011. Through this partnership both institutions co-organized a one-day event in which athletes received free dental examinations and dental care.
Since 2013 through Healthy Communities, Special Olympics Peru was able to expand this partnership to provide follow-up dentistry care to athletes evaluated in several schools for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID). Through this new partnership, many athletes are receiving much-needed dental treatment, including 340 people with ID who received dental care on 17 November 2013. On that day alone, 785 dental treatments such as filling cavities and tooth extractions were provided.
“The volunteers from the Universidad San Martin de Porres and their care, patience and respect are the strengths of this partnership,” shared Maria Amalia Pesantes, program manager with Special Olympics Peru. “Parents who have had the opportunity of seeing the dentists evaluating their children are very satisfied with the joint efforts of Special Olympics Peru and the USMP.”
The main activities of this partnership include: dental exams for athletes, a one-day dental treatment in the university’s dental clinic, and follow-up care provided at low cost to the athletes. Peru strives to build a sustainable model, continuing this new partnership expansion by identifying three special schools in low-income neighborhoods in Lima where Healthy Community volunteers will visit three times a year to provide checkups, preventative treatment and low-cost follow-up care. Special Olympics Peru is looking to sign similar partnerships with other dental schools to reach more people with intellectual disabilities.
About Lynn Erickson: Manager, Health Communications