Over 400 Receive Dental Care Through Grenada-Toronto Project

Dr Sheridan Cyrus in Grenada

By Lincoln DePradine

When a team of Canadian volunteers visited the Caribbean 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 Eastern Caribbean 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 Caribbean Camera.

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.

Vanessa Alexis

However, the exercise was interrupted from 2020 to 2022 because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

At the resumption last year, Alexis and her team visited Carriacou. Team members included dental surgeon Dr Sheridan Cyrus. He’s owner and operator at the Malvern-based Dr Sheridan Cyrus Dentistry.

Grenada-born Cyrus again was part of last month’s healthcare delegation that also included other professionals such as dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, registered nurses and massage therapists.

They operated from Mont Tout in the capital St George’s, and from Victoria in the western Parish of 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.

Smiles as the GCP volunteers in Grenada

“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 by Smiles GCP.

The group is hoping to purchase a unit for the treatment and care of dentures for next year’s fifth volunteer mission. “The plan is to go to St Patrick,’’ Alexis said.

St Patrick, Grenada’s northern-most parish, is home of lawyer and retired politician Tillman Thomas, who served as prime minister from 2008 to 2013.