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Founded in 1971, Essel is a fellowship of Christians from the Yonsei University's College of Dentistry and Ewha Womans University's College of Nursing Science. In our commitment to the commandment as taught by Christ to love one's neighbors, our team is dedicated to providing dental care and engaging in missionary work among the remote regions of the globe to those who have limited access to healthcare.

Since 1993, we have engaged each summer in a week-long outreach across Asia and Africa. During the five days of dental care service in that outreach, our team of one dozen professional dentists, assisted by the latest technology, have provided dental care around 1,000 patients every year.

You can learn more about our work in this information sheet. We encourage you to submit the attached application form if you are a missionary, and you believe that your ministry would benefit from Essel's service at your location and that you would be able to provide the resources and accommodations to make it possible.

Self-funding is a core principle of Essel's service. We fully fund all expenses and materials for our travel and dental care. This includes transportation, lodging, food, rentals, and advertising. We do however require that you assist us with procuring the following prior to arrival: 1. governmental permits 2. rentals and reservations pertaining to lodging and the site where Essel would provide dental care (the dental treatment site) 3. arranging transportation, such as bus and truck rentals 4. on-site sourcing of medical supplies that are liquids.

Team composition
About 40 participants join our yearly outreach. The following constitutes a typical team: one or two members of faculty of the Dental College, a dozen professional clinicians, a nurse, about 20 students from the schools of dentistry and nursing, students of secondary schools in charge of equipment sterilization, and about a half-dozen volunteers.
Permits and letters
Prepararations for Essel’s outreach can only begin when we receive an Invitation from the authorities at our destination. You must initiate a dialogue with the governing bodies on our behalf to acquire this formal invitation in writing.
In addition, we need your help in obtaining an official Letter of Intent that guarantees the cooperation from the government’s customs authority and all other permits necessary for us to perform our services. To ensure that we provide quality dental care, Essel typically needs to transport approximately 1 metric ton of cargo by commercial plane, much of which is expensive but essential medical equipment. The amount of metal we bring is such that our cargo may be mistaken for firearms and therefore may be subject to seizure. Because an official invitiation from the government is likely to be insufficient to ensure our cargo’s clearance at the airport’s customs, it is essential that we have the Letter of Intent and all permits ready before our travel.
After we receive an official Invitation, if your ministry is provisionally selected as the given year’s outreach destination, we will provide necessary English-language documents and credentials, such as the dental license and proof of employment of the head of Essel, to facilitate your application for permits for our dental service. Once we receive all permits, you must send us the Letter of Intent to clear our cargo through customs no later than 6 months before our arrival for us to formally commit to and plan for our outreach at your ministry. A flexible time interval helps us deal with the unexpected, such as applying for temporary practicing licenses.

To transport our team and cargo, you would need to rent on our behalf a bus that seats at least 45 passengers and a truck that can transport 1 metric ton of equipment. These vehicles would be used between the airport, lodgings, and the treatment site. If available, we encourage you to rent a shuttle bus or van that transports patients to our site to receive dental care. Patients belonging to orphanages or institutions for people with disabilities will be treated preferentially.

Treatment site location
To establish our dental treatment site, we would need to rent a large indoor area the size of a chapel. Such multipurpose spaces are often found in churches, town halls, gymnasiums, and cultural centers.  If no such open spaces are available, we are able to serve our patients in segmented spaces, such as classrooms in an elementary school.
To run our dental equipment, a large output of approximately 10 kilowatts (kW) of power must be available on the service site. If supply is an issue, we would need to be able to rent a power generator for the duration of Essel’s service.
Because the costly dental equipment is installed so as to be kept on the dental treatment site, proper security measures are needed after dental service to prevent theft. The measures may range from padded locks to hiring security guards.

An important note: once a dental treatment site is chosen and set up, it cannot be dismantled for the duration of the outreach to be moved to a second location. This is because the logistics involving 40 or more team members and the dozen dental clinics from which the various equipment originate is far too complex to coordinate a second installation of the treatment site. Furthermore, patients often receive multiple treatments over several days and may be denied the necessary care if the site is mobile. We encourage patients living far from the treatment site to travel by their own means or by carpool.

Dental care services
Essel provides the following dental care services to our patients:
Fillings for dental cavities (caries)
Extractions, including wisdom teeth
Root canal therapy
Scaling and root planing to remove dental tartar
Teeth whitening

We are unable to perform cleft lip repair or other procedures that involve general anaesthesia. Due to time constraints, we are also unable to manufacture dental devices, such as dentures, dental crowns and orthodontic braces.
Treatment plans typically focus on minimizing dental pain and discomfort. To identify the best form of treatment, patients may be asked to take an X-ray with the portable radiography on site.
Prior to treatment, we ensure the patient's health and safety by administering a brief examination that may include blood pressure measurements and checking for diabetes. Upon request we provide vitamins, antiparasitics, and medication for diabetes or high blood pressure.

We schedule our yearly outreach in the second week of June, the exact dates pending on flight availability.
Our dental service is expected to take place for a 4–5 day period starting from the day after our arrival at our destination. Service hours are usually between 9:00pm to 5:30pm, excepting an hour break at noon. On average, we serve about 100 patients in the morning and 150 in the afternoon--a daily sum of about 250 patients. Thus we are only able to serve during the outreach a total of about 1,000 patients.
The morning of the first full day is dedicated to the installation of equipment. It is at this time we are able to accommodate preferential dental care to government staff, local volunteers and Korean expatriates. Setting up the dental treatment site takes around 3 hours, dismantling it takes around 2.
We typically reserve a day between end-of-service and our departure from the host country for tourism, rest, and recreation.

Purchasing liquid medical supplies
Almost all supplies relating to providing dental care arrive as part of the Essel team's cargo. But due to in-flight restrictions, we look to local sourcing to supply the medical supplies that are liquids. The liquids that must be purchased locally include isopropyl alcohol and other antiseptic solutions, saline, and distilled water. Funds for the purchase of these items would be provided prior to our arrival.

To accommodate our team, we typically use about 15 twin hotel rooms, each costing less than USD$50. As our purpose of travel is not tourism, the lodging need not to be of a premium quality. The essential necessities are general safety, a climate controlled environment (air conditioning for warmer climates, heating for cooler ones), and access to hot showers. Furthermore, we need a large meeting space at our place of lodging that seats our 40+ team members for daily meetings and prayer.
To serve our patients better, we prioritize minimizing the distance of travel between the team's accommodations and the dental treatment site. There have been cases where we were able to extend our hours by establishing our treatment site in one of the event rooms in our hotel. 

While the entirety of food expenses are paid for by Essel, all meal arrangements for our team and the local volunteers and missionaries must be made by our local contacts. We encourage that our lodgings be done in a hotel that serves breakfast as this would facilitate the arrangements made by our local contacts. Lunch may be provided in the formed of packed meals or in the vicinity of the treatment site. Dinner arrangements may be made more flexibly, typically at a restaurant that receives large groups.

For us to understand the needs of our patients, it is essential that we find translators that can work with us for the duration of our 4-5 day service. We need at least 5 local volunteers, members of KOICA, or Korean expatriates that can provide us with translation services in Korean or English. At least 2 of those translators must be sufficiently fluent to be able to accurately translate the symptoms described by our patients. Although we are willing to pay for translation services, we encourage volunteers to serve together with us.
Application process
1. Please read the above information thoroughly. If you believe that your ministry is eligible, submit your completed application form. We will be in contact with you upon examining your application.
2. Every year, we provisionally select two destinations for that year’s outreach, with preference to one destination over the other. At this time, we expect our candidates to send us the formal Invitation and the requisite permits for our service. 
Often, the candidacy of one of those destinations become suddenly ineligible for our outreach. If your ministry’s candidacy remains eligible during our selection process and is not selected for that year’s ministry, we will place your ministry as the primary candidate for the following year’s outreach.
3. By the end of January of the outreach year, we ask our candidates to submit the Letter of Intent for cooperation in customs. Once we receive this letter, we can finalize our selection as the destination of outreach for that year and formally begin preparations to serve with you.

We pray that the grace of God accompanies you and in your work every day. Thank you for your interest in Essel.


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