Seven students from different countries participated in the International Voluntary Programme in Rwanda thanks to the International Association of Dental Students. One of them was Martin Števčina, a student of Dentistry at FM MU. Together with other students from Iran, Taiwan, Poland, Slovenia and Nigeria, they managed to examine and treat 250 adult and 705 paediatric patients during their volunteer activities. "Other treatment options were not possible due to the available equipment. In addition, I successfully presented the faculty and the Czech Republic at a research conference organised by the local university," says Martin.
The one-week stay near the Rwandan capital Kigali was preceded by thorough preparation, especially in terms of mandatory vaccinations against meningitis, cholera, yellow fever, typhoid and the use of antimalarials during the stay and after returning home. "The whole programme was a great experience and a learning experience for me because I learned to improvise with the instruments during the treatment where even the light during the examination was not a given. I am glad that I was able to learn about the reality of fieldwork. I also made contacts with local and international students, we exchanged experiences, learned from each other, and last but not least, got to know the culture and beauty of this country. The warm and hospitable locals describe their country as one with a thorny history but a positive outlook. I would like to thank the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University for providing me with a scholarship to help me complete the programme," Martin further adds.
"The trip exceeded my expectations and I would like to continue similar projects after school. I'll definitely never forget it, it was a new world for me in just about every way. I have an incredible amount of experiences and impressions. The presentation about the school and the Czech Republic was also a success, some students said they would love to come and learn something," concludes Martin, a future dentist.
The International Association of Dental Students was founded in 1951 in Denmark to serve the educational needs of dental students worldwide. The Association represents the interests of more than 200,000 dental students in approximately 60 countries worldwide and is headquartered at the FDI World Dental Federation headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It strives for excellence in education and science through the international projects and initiatives it manages. One of these is a programme with the aim of providing oral health care, disease education and prevention, and supplying oral health services to underserved populations in Rwanda.