Dentistry in Tanzania
Published in the Waitrose Chronicle
20 May 2016
While some of us might be using our bonus for a holiday or to treat ourselves, Weston-super-Mare Partner Robin Widdowson is putting his to a much better use. In July, Robin, who is heavily involved with local charities, will be off to Tanzania to support the charity Bridge2Aid as they help to improve the country’s dental care.
Dental care in Tanzania is very basic and limited in rural areas where the majority of people live. Whereas as many of us dislike our check-ups, Tanzanians are desperate to have teeth removed as many suffer with dental pain for years. Bridge2Aid will be sending dentists over there to train health workers in treating dental pain as well as advising on the risks to dental health; however Robin is not medically trained; “I have offered support as a health care assistant, mostly scrubbing instruments before sterilising them. The hope is that in the future those trained now will be able to train others and they can become self-sufficient. No-one should have to live with dental pain day after day”.
It will be challenging as there is no lighting or electricity in the clinics. “One of the hardest things is having to turn people away as we can only work while we have enough light” says Robin. He says he loves trying new things but has admitted he is slightly apprehensive: “Unlike the others going this isn’t my day job. Also I am a bit squeamish when it comes to the injections I will have to have”. The project is self-funded so Robin will be using his partnership bonus towards the costs. “It’s good to see the difference you can make to people’s lives in deprived areas”. If you would like to find out