He sometimes took part to tasks of logistic convoy escorts, alongside the medical team during which he made prescriptions for civilian patients who came to consult for dental pains.
deployed in Mali. The mission was to provide the soldiers with emergency and non-emergency dental care in order to preserve the operational capacity of the troop by avoiding the loss of time due to a dental issue.
Overall, the 12 months of deployment went well with a very good collaboration with the physicians. Nevertheless, some difficulties were encountered. Indeed, the supply of dental consumables was made through a logistic convoy from Ouagadougou. Therefore it would have been easier to get supplies from Bamako in order to reduce the travel time. Environmental constraints (especially dust and heat) in Timbuktu require continuous and regular maintenance of all equipment. However, the lack of trained technicians has prevented the maintenance of dental equipment. L1H did not have an incinerator, so medical waste management was provided by Nigerian level 2 hospital. Some patients who showed up with prosthetic complaints (need or repair of prosthesis) had to be referred for better care during their leave.
Pre-deployment dental fitness examination with realization of a panoramic radiography should be obligatory and should make it possible to dispose of soldiers free of dental pathologies in operations. The dentist must be particularly attentive to the conditioning of the soldiers before their departure in operations. Dental follow-up of deployed soldiers requires individual dental file which hold the oral health status and predeployment examination findings. Peacekeeping operations expose soldiers to many health risks that are aggravated by insufficient means of treatment and difficulties in medical evacuation. Indeed, 98 (72.5%) acts of scaling were carried out during the second half of deployment. In view of the duration of the mission and the deterioration of living and hygiene conditions, routine visits are desirable as far as possible after 6 months spent in theater. These visits will make it possible to systematically treat any dental pathology and especially perform scaling and polishing.
This article describes the experience of the author assigned to the dental clinic of Burkina Faso battalion
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