The immigration absorption of the Ethiopian community poses a great Zionist challenge to the State of Israel. The Department of Community Dentistry established a long and ongoing relationship with this unique population on a variety of levels. We revealed an alarming deterioration of their oral health status since their arrival to Israel. Concurrently, we explored the association between oral health and psychosocial variables among these immigrants. Accordingly, we implemented a holistic community oral health care program (prevention, treatment, dental, medical, social, psychological), with the participation of a multidisciplinary team of Ethiopian born professionals. In addition, as part of the integration process in the Israeli society and workplace, our department educated and trained individuals of this community as dental assistants and dental hygienists in courses held at the Hadassah Medical Organization. We strongly believe that this model of relationship and support should be implemented on a national level.
|Published - Apr 2013