In May 2017 Paul decided to volunteer with another overseas charity called Dentaid.
Dentaid as a dental charity works on a different model to Bridge2Aid. They send dental equipment and a dental team to all areas of the world were the is a need for Dental treatment, from refugee camps to remote villages, orphanages and prisons .
Paulís trip was to one of the refugee camps on the Greek Island of Lesvos which has a lot of Syrian refugees who have come in boats from Turkey. Paul spent a week working in the camp where they did extractions, temp fillings and gave a lot of oral hygiene advice. He found the experience worthwhile as they were able to help a lot of people dentally but found that the situation of a lot of the refugees was pretty hopeless and many of them would be sent back to their own countries.
Dentaid also send reconditioned dental equipment to less developed countries and as mentioned before on our website Blundell dental practice has given some of our old equipment to be reconditioned.
In February 2014 Paul decided to participate in a Bridge2Aid trip. Paul was in Tanzania for two weeks, assisting in the training clinics, and six new local health worker were trained in basic dentistry over the time. Paul found his time there very rewarding as the need for more dentistry was very evident. People had walked for miles to stand for several hours in a long queue just to get a tooth removed. We try to continue to support the charity by donating all the failed appointment fees to it.
Paul had the opportunity to work with 'Mercy Ships' in Liberia on the west coast of Africa where he saw first hand the suffering of people who have no dentist. The dental problems we are familiar with here are compounded by the high temperatures, poor living conditions and malnourishment. Paul was directed by the ship's dentist Keith Chapman. Keith decided after several tours to Liberia and other West African countries to establish a permanent clinic in Liberia. Paul told Keith about his friend Ian Wilson, who he had been in his class at dental school, and his exciting work in Tanzania providing dental training to local health workers. In many ways, this is the model Keith has followed in his clinic in Liberia. Paul also worked with a young man called Joseph Dumbuya who has since managed to get accepted to train as a dentist in Hungary. Paul & Hilary are helping Joseph with some of his student expenses. Joseph hopes to return to Sierra Leone and set up a clinic like Keith's. Amazing considering he had been recruited as a helper by Keith when he was on a tour to Sierra Leone with the Mercy Ship 'Anastasis' shortly after the end of the civil war there.
In 2010, Hilary went out to Tanzania herself to work for Ian Wilson's 'Bridge2Aid' program. Paul's nurse, Sarah Hill, went too. Rather than doing treatment themselves, their role was to train the local health workers to do important elementary dentistry which would continue to be provided once the dentists trained in the west left. Recently Ian was interviewed by Sandi Toksvig for her Radio 4 program 'Excess Baggage', about his work in Tanzania.
Blundell Dental practice send our old equipment to 'Dentaid' who recondition it for use in less developed countries. The practice also support Dentaid's work financially with the field equipment they have designed specifically for use in situations where electric power is unavailable.