CARE + COMMUNITY
Global Clinic Improves Lives of Guatemalans When Elizabeth Shick, DDS, MPH, associate professor at the CU School of Dental Medicine, first heard of 8-year-old Alejandro's condition, she knew he needed immediate care. His face was swollen and he was in tremendous pain. He was lying on a cot on the floor, nearly incoherent. Alejandro’s parents said he hadn’t been to school in weeks, and they could not afford to take him to a doctor. The infection was so advanced that without proper care, Alejandro was likely several days from death. Aida Ralda, MD, a quick-thinking Guatemalan doctor who was leading home visits for Zika research, gave Alejandro antibiotics to reduce the infection and ease the pain so he could receive treatment at the Trifinio Center for Human Development. There, CU School of Dental Medicine students extracted six teeth that were beyond repair and had caused this life-threatening infection. “Just a day or two after we extracted his teeth, Alejandro was doing much better. His infection and swelling quickly resolved, and he was able to smile without pain. This positive outcome was made possible by the concerted efforts of the dental students and the Guatemalan team of researchers and doctors,” said Dr. Shick.