The representatives include Steve Booth, managing director at Straumann; Patrick Allen, managing director at Henry Schein Dental; Bob Newsome, commercial director at Dentisan; Alison Speak, HR director at Oasis Dental Care; and our very own Jason Newington, managing director at FMC.
‘The vision and values of Bridge2aid fit perfectly with the vision that we at Dentisan have in regard to corporate social responsibility,’ Bob Newsome explained before leaving.
‘I have known Mark [Topley, CEO of Bridge2aid] for many years and Dentisan has been an enthusiastic supporter of the charity.
‘I am very much looking forward to meeting with the volunteers who provide such valuable work and the patients they treat.’
Rather than send in a solution for a couple of weeks and then disappear, Bridge2aid choose to train local health workers on the ground to deliver dental care 365 days a year.
This strategy has been hugely effective and in the past 11 years Bridge2aid has run 75 training programmes, training over 400 local health workers – 90% of whom are still in post, bringing access to emergency dental care within the reach of over 4 million people with over 35,000 individual treatments having been carried out.
‘An amazing and humbling day watching the Bridge2aid volunteers at work,’ Jason Newington said, after his first day in Tanzania.
‘To see the life-changing affect their work has on the lives of the local people who have suffered for so long with pain, was truly incredible.
‘Bridge2aid are simply making a massive difference to the community and its clear that the years of hard work and persistence by the team and volunteers has paid off.’
The training programme is designed to provide treatment compatible with the needs and resources of the local environment.
It delivers training to local people who are on the ground permanently, rural clinical officers are taught how to extract decayed and painful teeth, manage infection, basic preventive oral health education and how to diagnose and recognise cases that need to be referred.