Ertugrul Sabah (Season 02 - Episode 10)
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This Week's Changemaker; Ertugrul Sabah Developed Mobile Health Services for People with Mental Disabilities

On 16 December 2010 Sabanci Foundation's "Turkey's Changemakers" program hosts Ertugrul Sabah, a dentist, who developed a new way of service delivery to reach persons with mental disabilities.

 

Ertugrul Sabah established "Dental Health Care and Dentists Association" while working at Ege University Dental Faculty in 2001. As a visionary dentist he had one thing in mind: to reach those current systems cannot reach. For such an aim he gathered a group of volunteers such as dentists, doctorate students, nurses and interns and developed a new way of service delivery: mobile dental units. Putting the disadvantaged communities' needs at heart the units have targeted a wide range of marginalized groups such as low income families, rural communities and children at remote schools.

 

One such disadvantaged group that the association targets is mentally disabled people. People with mental disabilities who live at nursing homes or rehabilitation centers cannot simply access to services or demand professional help when they suffer from dental problems. The mobile dental units that Ertugrul Sabah and his team developed aim to solve this problem easing service delivery. The mobile units, equipped with tools to provide services ranging from root canal treatment to cavity implementation takes services to the patients rather than taking patients to the services. With this new way of service delivery he makes sure that the services reach to those that are most in need.

 

Mobilizing a team of 1000 volunteers, working collaboratively with public and civil society institutions and leaving 57.000 kilometers behind, Ertugrul Sabah and his team have reached 45.000 mentally disabled people making a big difference in the lives of them.

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