Canadian Healthcare Volunteers to visit in April

The content originally appeared on: The Barnacle News
Lincoln DePradine

By Lincoln DePradine

A group of Canadian volunteers, who visited Grenada in 2018, 2019 and 2013 and provided free healthcare services, will be returning to the island in April.

The group, known as Smiles Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique (GCP), is led by Vanessa Alexis, a dental hygienist at the Toronto-based Dr Sheridan Cyrus Dentistry.

During their six-day April visit, the team of healthcare providers will carry out their operations in Victoria, St Mark, and in Mont Tout, St George’s.

On the trip, they’ll carry with them a dental X-ray machine. The services from Smiles GCP will include not just with fillings, extractions and cleaning, but also such things as massage therapy and nursing assistance with high blood pressure and glucose level checks.

“We did purchase some blood pressure machines and we’ll be giving that out to people with extremely high blood pressure,’’ said Alexis, who was born in Carriacou.

“Last year, in Carriacou, we had an individual whose blood pressure was extremely high and we advised them to consult their medical doctor and that person ended up in the hospital. So, maybe we saved their life; we don’t know,’’ Alexis said at a recent Smiles GCP fundraising event.

Among those who attended the event was Grenada-born Dr Cyrus, a GBSS graduate and owner and operator of Sheridan Cyrus Dentistry.

Dr. Cyrus himself has travelled with the Smiles GCP volunteers to Grenada to provide free dental care.

“Dental x-ray is very important to diagnosing before dental procedures, especially for Dr Cyrus who likes to treat all of Grenada,’’ Alexis said. “He wants to heal the world and we appreciate him.’’

Alexis expressed appreciation not just to members of her travelling healthcare mission, but also to the individuals and organizations – in Canada and Grenada – that have backed her fundraising efforts through financial and in-kind donations.

Money donated at the fundraiser, which was attended by Grenada’s Consul General Gerry Hopkin, will be allocated to buying a unit for the treatment and care of denture on the 2025 visit to Grenada.

“I think we all know someone who needs a denture, whether it’s a full denture or partial denture. So our goal tonight is to raise enough funds to buy a dental unit so we can provide denture care next year,’’ Alexis said.

Hopkin described the volunteer work of Smiles GCP as “transformative dental care’’, saying it “positively impacts the lives of those at the receiving end’’.

“The dental and other care that you are delivering are not simply benefitting the individuals you treat,’’ he said. “Beyond that, you are also benefitting the economy of the nation within which your patients live, study, work and play.’’

In photo (l-r) are Consul General Gerry Hopkin, Dr Sheridan Cyrus & Smiles GCP’s Vanessa Alexis