Last year, the MAF team in Brazil – known as Asas de Socorro – ran a five-day dental safari for the people living along the hard-to-navigate Purus River in western Brazil.
Volunteering their time, 2 doctors, 3 dentists and a ministry team went by MAF floatplane and then boat to the people located on Humaitá Beach, from where they could reach 15 additional communities.
The flight saved the team a gruelling 24-hour journey by boat!
The Purus River is one of the most winding stretches of water in the world. If you were to measure a straight line from its source to its mouth, it would be 50% shorter than its actual length!
Asas de Socorro ministers to the communities that are hardest to reach. With no shops or medical facilities, many don’t even have schools. The people living in these remote regions grow their own food or buy it from the boats that run like buses or trains up and down the river.
Sadly, for nearly six months of the year, the water is so low that the regular boats cannot even reach these hard-to-access areas, leaving them even more isolated.
Fortunately, the kindly dentists were able to examine 112 patients – drilling, filling and pulling decayed teeth, as well as teaching people how to brush properly!
Without MAF’s plane, it would have taken too long and cost too much for the grateful patients to have made the long journey necessary to receive the dental treatment they so desperately needed.