Since qualifying as a dental hygienist, I have always wanted to use my skills in other parts of the world. Recently I was chatting with my friend Pat Popat, a dental therapist who travels to Uganda annually to help those less fortunate with their dental needs. He was telling me about his upcoming trip and after our conversation I was instantly filled with excitement and wanted to get involved. What better way to experience my first mission than with a friend and use our skills together to improve the dental health of others.
Therefore, I am officially heading to Uganda on my first ever dental mission with Dentaid in February 2018!
Dentaid was founded in 1996 and works to improve oral health around the world. The charity sends volunteer dental professionals and reconditioned equipment to support the work of dentists in poor and remote communities. They support an amazing team of Ugandan dental professionals all year round and also run education, training and toothbrushing programmes.
I’ll be gone for two weeks with a team of 10 volunteers including dentists, dental nurses, hygienists and therapists. Working alongside our team and the Ugandan dental professionals, we’ll run outreach clinics in schools, churches, prisons, orphanages and remote communities. We can expect to see up to 150 patients per day! Many will never have seen a dentist before.
With no access to dental care and limited funds, patients travel far and wide to attend these clinics where we’ll be able to deliver basic pain relief dentistry, fissure sealant treatments, fluoride applications and oral health education to both adults and children.
Oral health education is a key focus of the work we will be doing in Uganda because education is the best form of prevention. We’ll give toothbrushing demonstrations and talk about ways to care for your teeth.
As well as helping those I meet, I aim to learn more and continue to develop as a clinician. My dad always told me: “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work again.” It is so true. I am so passionate about my work and I can’t wait to help others improve their oral health by sharing my skills and insight.
My fundraising goal is £2200 and I have set up a fundraising page to gather donations . I hope I can count on you to donate to this worthy mission!