bridge2aid

mydentist sponsors the training of two clinical support officers in Tanzania

At mydentist, we’re really passionate about our partnership with dental charity Bridge2Aid – an amazing charity that provides emergency dental care training for health care workers in all remote rural communities of developing countries. We have a gold unity partnership, which means as well as sending over our clinicians throughout the year to volunteer, we pay for the training of health care workers.

Our most recent donation has paid for the training of two health care workers, and we’re delighted to share their stories with you.

Meet Joyce

JoyceJoyce is based at the Dareda Kati Dispensary in Babati, she is 25 years old, and has been a clinical officer there for 18 months.

The clinic where she works is responsible for the healthcare of around 11,500 people, and until our training programme, the people in that community would have to travel for almost an hour on a bus to get to the local town for dental care, where they potentially may not have found help. As the majority of people in Babati are farmers, the travel alone would have cost them around 2 days wages, and if you add in the treatment costs and food and shelter, you can see why for 1000s of rural Tanzanians, emergency dental care is just out of reach. Now, thanks to mydentist, the people using the Dareda Kati Dispesnary will have access to those very services!

Joyce passed both of the Bridge2Aid final practical assessments and met their training criteria with flying colours. They’re confident that she will continue to use these skills and care for her community. In the past 3 months, roughly 1000 patients have attended Joyce’s clinic, some of whom were in agonising dental pain, and she now has the skills to help them.

Before her training, Joyce expressed: “I would like to get a better knowledge of dental problems and know how to provide treatment to the patients myself in my dispensary.”  After her training was complete, Joyce said: “The training was good. I really enjoyed learning a lot whilst helping those living with dental problems.”

Meet Lucian

LucianLucian is based at the Mwada Dispensary in Babati, he is 27 years old, and has been a clinical officer there for 24 months.

His dispensary is responsible for the healthcare of around 9,100 people.  As with the community that Joyce serves, the cost of travel and treatment would be out of reach for the community under the care of his dispensary, meaning that they would have to live with the debilitating effects of dental pain.

Now that Lucian has passed his training, he can use his new skills to provide emergency dental treatments at his dispensary. Since his training, approximately 16 patients have arrived at Lucian’s clinic seeking help with excruciating dental pain, of whom he’s been able to prescribe anti-biotics.

After his training, Lucian said ”I enjoyed learning about dental diseases and am pleased that I can now help my patients with dental problems”

We’re so touched to see that Joyce and Lucian are doing so well and helping so many people who could still have been in agony had they not had their emergency dental training.

The programme as a whole went really well! 11 of the 12 clinical officers passed their assessments and are now able to use the equipment that Bridge2Aid has supplied to continue to serve their communities.

What difference has mydentist made?

During the 6 days of practical training, an incredible 1315 patients were treated free of charge, a number of them having been in constant pain for months, some even years. One of the patients who visited was Neema ….

Neema

36 year old Neema lives in a village where she farms maize and pigeon peas with her husband and six young sons. Neema had been suffering with dental pain for two years, but was afraid to travel the long distance to a district hospital to seek help because of the fear for her life.  Neema is part of Tanzania’s albino population, and so is very aware that travelling far outside her home community could be dangerous. 

Tanzania is said to have one of the world’s largest albino populations - roughly around 30,000 people. Sadly, for years they’ve lived under the threat of abductions and ritual killings, and more recently, this threat seems to be getting worse.

We were able to help Neema because she heard an announcement in her village that Bridge2Aid would be carrying out training at Riroda Health Centre, just 30 minutes’ walk from her home.  As part of our training programme, we were able to carry out a tooth extraction to get Neema out of pain - she was delighted that Bridge2Aid along with the support of mydentist made this possible for her.

Bridge2Aid recently messaged us to say: “You have made a tangible and profound change to two more communities in the developing world. Your sponsorship of the training of Joyce and Lucian means that thousands of people now have access to safe treatment and a way out of pain.”

Keep your eyes out for more stories about the great work mydentist and Bridge2Aid are doing to create a world free from dental pain!

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