Overseas clinic established
Luanne Skrenes, wife of Bishop Tom Skrenes, and Dr. Michael Orhanen, raised in Manistique and now practicing in Marquette, shared information on the development and success in bringing a free dental clinic to people in the Eastern and Coastal Diocese in Tanzania.
The Skrenes indicated they maintain close contact with Tanzania Bishop Malasusa and have coordinated many projects together, including: Kisarawe Junior School project, developed with the help of Manistique residents Ken and Bonnie Groh; the placement of 2,000 mosquitoes in Augustana Hall for the Malaria Project; and the construction of water storage and a pump to provide water during dry seasons.
Zion Lutheran Church is one of five churches which had committed to assist in sponsoring a Tanzanian student for four years under the Student Scholarship Program.
After one and a half years of planning, securing equipment, getting shots, and obtaining approval, two doctors, including Dr. Orhanen, were approved and readied to establish a dental clinic in the capital city of Dar as Salaam in August 2012. The pair had been on several dental clinic missions to Central and South American countries.
Dental equipment, estimated at $10,000, was donated by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Northern Great Lakes Synod and fellow dentists in Marquette and throughout the U.P. Shipping the equipment and supplies overseas cost approximately $4,000.
After arriving in Dar as Salaam and setting up the clinic, some people stood in line for an entire day. Both dentists worked 12 hour days, taking time only for a lunch break. Most patients had never had dental care.
Dr. Orhanen reported very few patients had cavities because fluoride is found naturally in the water.
The clinic will continue and the dentists ensured supplies and equipment should last up to three years. Two local people will provide services.