The two-week intensive screening sessions offer free treatment to children at a makeshift dental clinic equipped with tools and chairs brought from the city. Under the supervision of qualified local dentists, students will perform as much of the work as possible. This is an opportunity for those studying dentistry to gain on the job experience whilst utilising their skills in countries that desperately need them.
Student Kerry worked in Nepal in 2011. “We set up our clinic in the local secondary school. We had a room for screening and a room to provide treatment. Our supervisor was always on hand to help with difficult extractions or advice about treatment, which was invaluable. For our group of 12 we all treated about 6 patients a day and screened many more.”
Student Richard talks about the Nepalese people who visited the school:“Often patients had been suffering with recurrent pain and inflammation for a number of years before we were finally able to remove the source of infection. Overall, our work was greatly appreciated with patients often walking for a number of hours to receive treatment.”
The Dental Outreach projects are run by Work the World, the UK’s leading provider of healthcare electives in Africa, Asia and South America. Statistics for 2010 highlight the incredible work the teams do – 9 projects ran in Africa and Asia, screening and treating over 10,500 people. As part of this, 3000 Nepalese people were screened and over 90% of those referred for further treatment. It was by far the highest percentage and in a bid to increase sustainability the 2011 projects focused entirely on Nepal. 2011 saw 6,357 Nepalese villagers screened and treated by Work the World teams.
Faye Stickings, Work the World’s Managing Director commented “We have put an enormous amount of groundwork into 2012, working with our partners and the community to ensure sustainability.”(/
Along with helping the community, another benefit for students is the opportunity to identify advanced cases and diseases that often only appear in textbooks at home. Alison and Pamela, Dundee dental students were interviewed about their time in Nepal: (i)“the wearing down of teeth is very common … mainly from their diet. They may have worn them down to the root and then they need to be extracted”. They also came across severe decay and advanced disease. The guidance of local professionals taught them more about dealing with these than any lecture could have.
The Dental Outreach Projects will last for two weeks each and begin in Nepal on 24th June, with a second project on 8th July and a third project on 26th August. Contact Ruth Chapman, Communications Manager at Work the World, for more information and supporting imagery.
Notes to Editors
National Smile Month (http://www.nationalsmilemonth.org/
Work the World (http://www.worktheworld.co.uk) is the UK’s leading provider of healthcare electives for UK and international students in Africa, Asia and South America. We tailor placements to match clinical interests, provide 24/7 support as well as full board and accommodation.
All students quoted travelled with Work the World.
Work the World’s 2012 partners are Western Regional Hospital, Kantipur Dental Hospital and the Ministry of Health and Population.
The cost of a dental outreach placement is £1390. To date, all monies have been reinvested into the ongoing work of the projects.
Work the World is a UK registered company. For more information visit http://www.worktheworld.co.uk