Today we marked 10 years of DVP and Hope Dental Centre with a reception hosted by the Tanzania High Commissioner in the UK at the mission in London.
CEO Mark Topley, Co-Founder Ian Wilson and Chairman Alan Frampton were hosted by the High Commissioner Peter Kallaghe and joined by Lord Peter Mandelson – a supporter of our work – and Brad Gordon, CEO of African Barrick Gold who have been a major sponsor of DVP for 5 years.
The event was to celebrate 10 years of partnership with the Tanzanian Government, and also announce a new campaign around the theme “WHAT IF?”– looking into the effects of untreated dental pain – and Mark Topley, talked of the charity’s ambition to expand into other parts of Africa.
“Dental caries (tooth decay) is a scourge that remains the world’s most common, yet often unacknowledged, disease,”said Mark.
“A huge number of working days are lost to an ultimately treatable disease, with billions of people suffering around the world from untreated tooth decay.
“In fact, 80% of people will suffer from dental caries during their lifetime,”he said.
“Why is it that armed forces include dental care as an essential medical service to soldiers, sailors and airmen, yet so often what the World Health Organisation calls a ‘fundamental right’–access to simple emergency treatment – is not available for the vast majority of the populations in developing countries? Infection from untreated toothache can – literally – kill. We’ve seen that happen.
“Simple training in extraction techniques, as our dental volunteers provide to local health workers, can dramatically improve quality of life. That’s why on the eve of our 10th anniversary, we’re calling on people to back us in the expansion of the B2A training model into other areas of Tanzania and beyond, and looking for further support to roll out a package we know works.”
Lord Peter Mandelson said: “I am delighted to be supporting Bridge2Aid and its vital work in Tanzania. Mark and his team do a wonderful job in partnership with the Tanzanian government, and over the last 10 years they have benefited millions of Tanzanians. The impact of untreated dental pain across the developing world is enormously under-appreciated and is something which Bridge2Aid has fought hard to have recognised, as well as concretely demonstrating the benefits of tackling the problem through its programmes every single day.”
His Excellency Peter Kallaghe, Tanzania’s High Commissioner to the UK, said: “The achievements of the Bridge2Aid team in the past 10 years have been remarkable, and the resulting impact on individuals and communities has been transformational.
“Since our combined effort was rolled out with Bridge2Aid, in the areas of training, there has been an 80% decrease in the number of dental patients needing to visit district dental facilities, and over 90% of dental problems can be addressed by the trained Clinical Officers.
“So we know Bridge2Aid works; we know the model works; and we are confident that its approach will work in many other countries too. I will be looking forward to Bridge2Aid’s 20th anniversary –and hope that word will continue to spread of its good, and absolutely necessary, efforts.”
Pictured are Bridge2Aid representatives along with H.E Peter Kallaghe, Lord Peter Mandelson and Brad Gordon – CEO of African Barrick Gold, who have been a major Bridge2Aid sponsor since 2009.