Afghan Dental Update
I’d like to thank Nick Welsh for his right-on editorial on invading Iraq and the collateral damage that resulted.
I recognized the abandonment of reconstructing Afghanistan after over 30 years of war there, so when resources shifted to invading Iraq under false pretenses, I went as a private Santa Barbara citizen to Afghanistan and witnessed personally the incredible destruction of the infrastructure and economy.
As a dentist, I observed the entire population of Wardak Province completely without dental care of any sort, seeing people on the verge of death from dental septicemia.
I could not find enough technology in Afghanistan to construct a service to help the people, so I returned to Santa Barbara, formed the Afghanistan Dental Relief Project, purchased a 40-foot shipping container, outfitted it into a shippable three-chair, modern self-contained clinic with a diesel generator, took it to Afghanistan, trained a dentist and a nurse to operate it, and then started a school to train young Afghans as dental technicians.
I have put over $2 million of my own money into making it happen, and I live in our opulent society completely by foraging in the urban environment for my needs, converting my discretionary income into funds for my project.
The project has now been going for 20 years, providing free dental care for over 200,000 poor Afghans, and is still going despite the Taliban forcing out most NGOs there. You can read about it at https://www.adrpinc.org website.