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Charity trip gets support all round

Dental outreach leader James Goolnik pays tribute to Henry Schein and Colgate

Henry Schein UK announced that it supported James Goolnik’s first dental outreach to provide essential dental care and equipment to Malawians in association with Dentaid, a charity which aims to improve world oral health.

James Goolnik led a team of eight passionate dental professionals on a 10-day trip to Malawi in July.

Their first destination was the Queen Elisabeth Central Hospital and Dental Department in Blantyre where they provided desperately needed local anaesthetic for oral treatment; followed by a visit of Shalom Dental Services in Limbe, founded by Marc Kondowe, who was a dental therapist in the government system for 10 years before setting up three private dental clinics in Malawi.

At Zomba Central Hospital, the team installed a new dental chair, an autoclave, an x-ray machine as well as a water filtration unit. Furthermore, a DentaidBox, a portable dental surgery in a wheelie bin, was donated to be used in rural community outreach and already installed old equipment was refurbished.

At Kumuzu Central Hospital, the volunteers observed patient care and fixed the dental equipment.

'We saw amazing people doing wonderful things with limited resources. The visit was not just about donating our time or equipment, it was about a mutual sharing of experience,' said James Goolnik.

He continued: 'Nevertheless, this trip could not have taken place without sponsors such as Colgate who provided 10,000 toothbrushes and toothpaste and Henry Schein who donated consumables and equipment and sent an employee who was able to provide precious maintenance and installation support on location as well as training for dental professionals. I would like to thank them and all other supporters for making this happen.'

In addition to product donations, dental treatments and maintainance support, the dental professionals visited Stephanos Orphanage in Chilangoma, Blantyre and a rural primary school to give out toothbrushes and toothpaste and provide oral health education to the children and their teacher.

About 2,000 toothbrushes have been distributed during the trip. The team also participated in Malawi’s first ever skills transfer workshop that took place for two days in Lilongwee. During this event, ideas to benefit Malawian patients were shared.

With a population of 14 million-plus, Malawi only has five dentists and 200 dental therapists.

Enock Phale, assistant director of clinical services (dental & oral health) for the Malawi Ministry of Health, said: 'I would like to thank the whole volunteer team, Dentaid, Colgate and Henry Schein as well as all the other companies that made this amazing help come true. My special thanks goes to James Goolnik. The majority of the money donated came from sales of his book ‘Brush’. This will make the launch of an oral health education programme into more schools possible and a much better oral health care can be offered in future.

Simon Gambold, managing director of Henry Schein’s medical and dental business here in the UKt, said: 'We are very happy that Mr Goolnik asked us if we wanted to support him and his team on this first outreach. Through donating health care products and installation and maintenance support in Malawi, we were able to increase access to health care and to support dental professionals in the provision of desperately needed treatment, preventive care and health care education.'

This initiative is part of Henry Schein Cares, Henry Schein’s global corporate social responsibility programme.

Henry Schein Cares helps increase access to care for underserved populations. Healthcare activities supported by Henry Schein Cares focus on three main areas: advancing wellness, building capacity in the delivery of health care services, and assisting in emergency preparedness and relief.

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