Landmark Graduate Takes on Providing Dental Care in Refugee Camps
Since 1992, Landmark Education graduate Dr. Christine Lathuras has travelled across the developing world to provide dental for those who lacked it. Recently she returned from two refugee camps in Tanzania, where she and two colleagues spent three weeks training local volunteers with to perform dental surgery. The trip was funded by Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO), an organization for which Lathuras has vigorously fundraised for.
Their work was challenging; the camp, which holds refugees from nearby Burundi and the Congo, had no lighting or electricity, and the volunteers had little or no training before Lathuras and her colleagues worked with them.
While Lathuras and the other doctors made a real and lasting difference with their work in Tanzania, Lathuras sees that change needs to happen at a higher level to transform dental care in refugee camps. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), which overseas the Tanzanian refugee situation as well as refugee camps all over the world (there are over 500,000 refugees in Tanzania alone, the UNHCR estimates) does not provide dental care as part of its medical treatment. Lathuras and her colleagues have submitted a document for public presentation to the American Publich Health Association to build support for this.
Lathuras credits her participation in Landmark Education’s programs in helping her turn her vision into reality.
“Over 20 years ago, I committed myself to making a difference. I really got through Landmark Education that anything is possible. I have a very busy life, with a family and a business, and I have this commitment to travel and help people. The support of my partner Tommie has also helped make it all work.”
Despite her busy life, Lathuras has managed to go to Honduras, Bolivia, Peru, The Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Thailand, Jamaica, Panama and Uganda in addition to Tanzania to make a difference.