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a blog by Chris Barrow

B2A Unity Partnership update

Here is an update from the Bridge2Aid team in Tanzania. Some of you will recall that the Dental Business Club is involved in the B2A Unity Partnership. If you’d like to read more about it click here. “Training took place in Kahama. Each day has been full and all Clinical Officers are coming along well. Unfortunately, although it isn’t ‘technically’ the rainy season, it has been raining most days. When it rains, it pours, so people don’t venture out as much. Also, farmers (which most people in the rural areas are) must plant their crops now that the rains have finally started. These factors combined, mean that the patient numbers are slightly less than hoped for, with around 60 patients per day. Though it means the team and Clinical Officers aren’t run off their feet, it does mean that the quality of teaching is high and Clinical Officers have time to really grasp each new situation while still seeing enough patients to get the experience needed.” Once the training was complete, the team saw just over 400 patients during their time in with Bridge2aid, and their exams are now being marked. I asked one of Bridge2Aid’s Tanzania team members – Innocent – if any of the patients they saw stuck in his mind. He told me about a 28 year old young lady called Stella Kasa. She developed severe toothache just over a year ago. She went to her local dispensary, but unfortunately the Clinical Officer there had received no dental training. He tried to remove the tooth, but failed. Her pain got worse, and it affected her ability to work and earn money for her family. A few weeks ago, she saw a poster in her village with the announcement that dentists would be in her area. Yesterday, she rode the 7km from her village of Nyamikonze to the dispensary where DVP was taking place, and was seen by one of the volunteers and a Clinical Officer. After a very long year, she is now out of pain. When asked how she felt, she said “Could such a service be made available in all villages please”. With the training that you have supported, more Clinical Officers are returning to these villages with the right skills to help people like Stella Kasa. Shaenna Loughnane Bridge2Aid Unity Partnership Co-ordinator 07733102087 Site Clinical Lead Julie Williams starts off the day with a quick briefing with all the Clinical Officers Part of training includes learning to educate patients on Good Oral Health, one of the Clinical Officers does his first presentation with supervision from Innocent and a DVP Nurse

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