The Canterbury District Health Board's Oral Health Centre was honoured with a precious gift of one thousand cranes skilfully made by elderly earthquake victims in Sendai, Japan.
Professor Ryoichi Hosokawa, an Oral Surgeon and Oral Medicine Specialist, is visiting New Zealand to observe how we manage hospital based dental care especially for people in palliative care and people with xerostomia (dry mouth.
The special gift was hand made by victims of the earthquake and tsunami in north eastern Japan who wished to show their empathy for the people of Christchurch. One thousand origami cranes are carefully folded before being threaded together to create 20 colourful strands of cranes. The gift is to wish good luck, good health and happiness.
Jacqui Power, Oral Health Centre practice coordinator, says staff welcomed Professor Hosokawa's visit and gift of the beautiful cranes.
"It was quite humbling to receive such an intricate, beautiful gift like this – it is even more special given it has come from people who experienced the trauma of such an horrific natural disaster – while on a much larger scale to what we went through, it's good to know we have some mutual understanding of what each other have been through."
The Oral Health Centre's building on the corner of St Asaph and Tuam Streets was destroyed in the February 22 earthquake.
"Being in that building on February 22 was pretty scary – something most of us do not want to experience again."
The centre has reopened in the refurbished former Professional Development Unit building, behind the former Hagley Hostel site adjacent to Christchurch Women's Hospital.
The paper cranes will be put on display in the oral health centre for patients and staff to admire.
The centre provides hospital level dental services.
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