More than five decades old RAC Government Dental College, RID 3141, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bombay, has tied up with Yasham Foundation of Rtn Sunita Mandelia to hold dental screening and treatment camps in and around Mumbai. “We will start with once-a-month dental camp with 4–5 Rotaractors, who are also interns, examining patients. In due course, we will hold more camps with more participation from our college students and doctors,” says club president Mukta Kasture.
At present, the Rotaractors are taking part in the monthly dental camps being run by their parent Rotary at Talwade village in Karjat taluk of Raigad district. “We diagnose and treat not less than 50-60 patients who have mouth deformities and other oral issues in each camp at Talwade. Free medicines are given after consultations,” she explains. With the support of the Department of Periodontology, an education seminar was held for OPD patients on World Diabetes Day (Nov 14). In her address, college dean Dr Vasundhara Bhad urged patients to check their blood-sugar levels at regular intervals, maintain body fitness and be wary of risk factors associated with diabetes.
Over 100 patients were screened at the diabetes seminar; sugar levels of 67 of them were checked, and “we found that among those checked, eight patients had very high sugar levels.” The high-risk patients were referred to further consultations after they were given counselling on lifestyle and food choices. Dr Dimple Padawe and Dr C D Dhalakri examined the patients; while Dr Rajesh Gaikwad conducted the free blood-sugar check-up for high-risk patients.
Rtrs Shruti Sawant and Aditi Kadam gave a talk covering the entire gamut of issues related to diabetes — cause, risk factors, symptoms, treatment factors et al — with emphasis on prevention of the disease through lifestyle changes. “Through our regular dental camps with the local NGO we want to reach out to 150 more patients in the next five months, thus benefitting not less than 300 people for the entire Rotary year,” she says.
While the club has 27 members on board, “only four have registered at the My Rotary website of RI. So, for all practical purposes we have only four Rotaractors to take up projects and for volunteering at Rotary events. As we are in a medical college, most of us don’t get enough time for Rotaract activities and we have to study hard for exams which add up to our pressure,” explains Mukta.
The RI annual dues of $5 per head further kept away those members who rarely turn up for Rotaract events due to various reasons. While all the members pay the annual club fee of ₹150; “only active members have paid the RI dues till now,” says Mukta.
Doing her internship, she wants to set-up her own dental clinic, after graduating from the college. “I have not given a thought about either continuing in Rotaract or joining Rotary. Maybe in future, after a few years, I may join a Rotary club,” she adds.