My name is Karissa Mirza and I am a 10th grade student studying at the ISF Academy, Hong Kong. My goal is to give back to the community and I see myself doing so through the field of dentistry.
Many families, particularly children in lower economically developed countries lack financial stability to undergo imperative dental procedures crucial to their overall health. A vast majority of diseases relating to dental care are highly preventable, and dying as a result of a toothache is unnecessary.
Two brothers from Maryland, Deamonte and DeShawn Driver were experiencing severe toothache and were advised to extract six teeth. According to their mother Alyce, the siblings were covered by Medicaid, however, the family of three were later dropped from the insurance program.
When Deamonte fell sick, he was initially taken to the hospital to be treated for a severe headache. Instead, he became more ill and required two brain surgeries. Eventually, he passed away in February 2007, aged twelve. If the severity of his case had been caught earlier, the extractions of his damaged tooth would’ve cost a mere $80 in contrast to the hospital fees of 2 weeks; ranging from $200,000 - $250,000.
Another high profile case in August 2011 was about 24 year old Kyle Willis - a single father residing in the Cincinnati area. When he first visited the dentist, Willis was informed he had a wisdom tooth which needed to be extracted. Although, without a job or dental insurance to cover the procedure, he was unable to operate.
Just weeks later, Willis had a severe headache and a swollen face. Subsequently, he was admitted to the emergency room where he was prescribed painkillers ($3), and antibiotics ($27). Unable to afford both, he purchased painkillers which had feverish side effects. In September 2011, he was rushed to a local hospital where doctors discovered the tooth infection had spread to his brain, and he eventually passed away.
Although these 2 cases occurred in the United States, it’s important to note that it is an economically developed country, where the general public have widespread knowledge about basic dental care. In underprivileged countries such as India, 72% of the population are unable to brush their teeth twice a day, the recommended amount. They do not have access to dental knowledge, let alone dental care, putting millions of disadvantaged families at risk.
The goal of this GoFundMe page is to raise $15000 HK. We will donate half of the proceeds to NGOs in India, and the other half will go to the distribution of basic dental and hygiene products to the less fortunate.