A local dental therapist has spent two weeks nearly 5000 miles away in Tanzania helping tackle the country’s dismal dental care.
Kind-hearted dental therapist, Elaine Warner was part of a team of 16 dentists and dental nurses going to the Bukoba region where there is only one dentist for every 800,000 people.
The team, including Elaine, from the charity Bridge2Aid, were going out to teach clinical officers emergency dental treatment and provide dental treatment for people from the region.
Elaine said: “This was the best experience I have ever had in my life. I have never worked with such a wonderful team of people or worked so hard.
“We were out to help teach clinical officers who work in remote areas where they carry out medical treatment such as vaccines, delivering babies and repairing broken bones but they have no dental experience.
“We worked in their remote clinics where there is no water or electricity and the equipment is very basic. There was a kitchen chair, forceps, elevators and the sterilisation is carried out in pressure cookers.
“We travelled two hours there and back every day over dirt track roads to be met by a group of around 80 people suffering toothache and who had travelled miles to be seen. They would wait patiently for hours to be seen and the only treatment available is extraction.
“The work the charity is undertaking is marvellous as well as training five clinical officerss we managed to offer dental treatment to more than 500 people. The five clinical officers will now return to their areas and be able to help their patients.”
Elaine is a dental therapist at Drumchapel Health Centre and was accompanied on the trip with Andrew Hunter, a SHO from Glasgow Dental Hospital, who was also part of the team with charity Bridge2Aid.
For further information or images of Elaine in Tanzania either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]