Bridge2Aid, the dental volunteer charity that works in East Africa, has now reached more than a million people through its dental volunteer programme.
This programme has reached one million people in just five years since the charity started it, an achievement which Bridge2Aid are now accelerating,.
B2A’s chief executive Ian Wilson explains: ‘With over four billion people worldwide with no access to safe, basic emergency dentistry, training local health workers to treat their own people is a key strategy to alleviating the weight of this burden.
‘Dental pain causes more lost work days each year than malaria! With over 200,000 people in East Africa alone experiencing pain each day, we are pushing ahead with training to provide access to emergency dentistry to half a million people in 2010 – that’s one every 60 seconds.’
B2A works with UK volunteers to provide the training, and almost 100 will travel to Tanzania next year to take part in the dental volunteer programme (DVP).
During their trips, volunteers work 1:1 to train a local health worker in emergency dentistry.
These workers are then equipped by B2A and supervised by the government – a sustainable solution to the problem. The average cost to provide access to this essential treatment is just 50p per person. Since a typical village consists of around 250 people, B2A are looking for partners who will provide pain relieving treatment for a village for just £10 a month.
Ian said: ‘We have developed a training model which is effective and working very well. We have fantastic support from the trade and profession in materials and volunteers, what we need to expand training to more areas are people who will donate on a regular basis £10 a month – and provide a way out of excruciating dental pain to a whole village every year.’
Bridge2Aid will speak more about the challenge of taking people out of pain at the Bridge2Aid Ball this Friday 13 November, being held at the Hilton Birmingham NEC Metropole.
The event has already sold more than 700 tickets, and has been organised by Dentistry, Henry Schein Minerva and Dentsply. As well as being a great night out, the event will raise vital funds to take more people out of pain in East Africa in 2010.
More information on Bridge2Aid, how to volunteer and how to donate can be found at www.bridge2aid.org.