Visiting volunteers help more than 400 Grenadians

The content originally appeared on: The Barnacle News
Smiles GCP volunteers in Grenada

By Lincoln DePradine

When a team of Canadian volunteers visited Grenada in April to provide free healthcare services, they spent six days at two locations and attended to more than 400 adults and children.

The mission, which offered services valued at just under half-million EC dollars, was well worth it, said Vanessa Alexis, founding-president of Smiles Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique (GCP).

“It went very well. It was a success,’’ Alexis told The Barnacle.

Alexis was born in Grenada but grew up in Carriacou. She mounted the first Smiles GCP mission in 2018, with the expectation of doing it annually.

However, the exercise was interrupted from 2020 to 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the resumption last year, Alexis and her team visited Carriacou. Team members included dental surgeon Dr Sheridan Cyrus, a former student of the Grenada Boys’ Secondary School. He now is owner and operator at the Toronto-based Dr Sheridan Cyrus Dentistry.

Cyrus, who also attended St George’s Anglican School on Church Street, again was part of last month’s healthcare delegation that included other professionals such as dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, registered nurses and massage therapists.

Dr Sheridan Cyrus providing dental care in Grenada

They operated from Mont Tout in St George’s, and from St Mark, with Grenadians receiving free services such as fillings, extractions and cleaning.

Some people also were offered massages, and others were checked for high blood pressure and diabetes.

“We saw a little over 400 people, which equals to about EC$400,000,’’ said Alexis, a dental hygienist at Dr Sheridan Cyrus Dentistry.

“For most of the people that we saw in Mont Tout, that was their first dental visit ever. And in St Mark, we were upstairs the daycare in Victoria; we saw young kids, as well as older folks.’’

The missions are financed, in part, through an annual fundraising event hosted in Toronto by Smiles GCP.

The group is hoping to purchase a unit for the treatment and care of denture for next year’s fifth volunteer mission.

“The plan is to go to St Patrick,’’ Alexis said.