Baptist Global Response

Dental health education saves woman from superstitious healing

Associated Project: Health Care Connections


Karimi* had very yellow teeth, possibly caused by infection in her mouth. She lived in a part of Central Asia where women were rarely educated. Illiterate, she lived in a village and took care of her nine children. They didn’t have access to dental health information, so she didn’t understand the cause of her dental problems.

The woman spent a lot of money on doctors over the course of three or four years, but none of them fixed her issue. Her neighbors kept telling her to consult with local "mullahs," or religious leaders with knowledge of Islamic theology and law. Mullahs in that area often tried to heal people with amulets, prayers to Allah or sacred dirt from shrines.

However, Karimi recently attended a community meeting held as a part of BGR’s Hope Through Healthy Smiles project. Through lectures and demonstrations, Karimi and the other participants learned about dental health, brushing teeth at least once a day, limiting sugar and gargling with baking soda and salt water solutions to help heal infections.

At the end of the meeting, Karimi received a toothbrush and toothpaste.

The woman began to brush daily, and soon, her oral problems improved. She told a BGR partner her mouth had healed like magic.

If you would like to help women like Karimi receive dental education and consequently, dental healing, please visit our donation page and support projects like Hope Through Healthy Smiles.

*Name changed

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