We, at Bridge2Aid, are very fortunate to have such great support from all of you out there. Today, I wanted to feature a guest blog from Dr Andrew Legg, one of our fantastic Unity Partners. I’ll let him do the talking!
I thought I would follow up an great blog post by Abi Al-Adhami from Abi Dental on the benefits of the Unity Partnership with Bridge 2 Aid.
I have always tried to follow one or two charities and over recent years have been the dental advisor for Action for Sick Children. I helped launch the dental playboy scheme which travels to socially deprived areas in the UK and helps young children understand the benefits of going to see the dentist.
As well as this I have always been interested in helping a charity abroad. I have previously helped with Dentaid and also Epiphany by supplying equipment. Ultimately I will go and volunteer my services but with 3 young children and 1 on the way I am needed at home at the moment so I have to find other ways to help.
Back in April the ever present (!) Chris Barrow, advertised the Unity Partnership with Bridge 2 Aid. Essentially a relatively small donation would help train a clinical officer, allowing them to treat emergencies in areas of Tanzania with little or no access to dental care. As an extra incentive Chris was also generously offering a bonus of free coaching services as an incentive to join up.
Abi outlines the business benefits of the Partnership including tax breaks, good publicity for you and some reassurance for your patients that their money doesn’t all go towards fast cars!
At the time I was in the process of selling my share of a dental practice in Manchester and heading off into the big wide world after my first 10 years in dentistry.
The Unity Partnership and the opportunity to help train a clinical officer in Tanzania was the perfect way to celebrate this.
I was contacted by Mark Topley, Shaenna Loughnane and Brian Strotton who are part of the fantastic team at Bridge 2 Aid and straight away knew that I had made the right decision. The enthusiasm that exudes from them and the rest of the team is infectious and only makes you want to help more.
There were constant updates on how the clinical officers were progressing in their training, culminating in an email in September telling me that the clinical officer I had helped had passed!
Shadrack Magembe Malubalo would be working as a clinical officer in the Kahama district providing essential emergency dental care for locals that otherwise wouldn’t be available.
Out of 12 students in this cohort, 11 passed, which is a great testament to the Bridge 2 Aid team and the dental volunteers who go out to help.
I know times are tough at the moment for everyone both in the UK and abroad. The economy is uncertain and the fight for work is hard. But, there is always someone somewhere worse off.
I am not one for preaching the moral high ground, people who know me would agree that this would be a bit hypocritical (!), but helping someone else ALWAYS feels better than helping yourself.
We are very lucky in the UK, those who want medical and dental help can usually get it in some form and usually within their local region. ( I know the exceptions and have read the Daily Mail so appreciate the NHS is not perfect!)
I am glad to have been able to give a small amount to Bridge 2 Aid that will help the people in the Kahama district in Tanzania from suffering too much with dental pain. One day I will get over there to congratulate Shadrack myself and help as a volunteer.
Maybe you could help too?
You can find the original post on his website by clicking here.