THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Bridge2Aid: An invitation to partnership

In 2011, Bridge2Aid had 12 Unity Partners. The funds from these partnerships allowed Bridge2Aid to train 12 Clinical Officers in Emergency Dentistry. In Tanzania, Clinical Officers are the medically trained personnel who are based in rural villages around the country. They are often the only medically trained person for miles and miles around and are extremely isolated. Each Clinical Officer is responsible for the medical care for a population of, on average, 10,000 people. Those from the villages often can’t afford to travel the great distances required to get dental help and without trained Clinical Officers, have to suffer dental pain for months, and sometimes years. The Partnership links individual practices in the UK with communities in Tanzania through Bridge2Aid’s continuing work in the country. The Partnership provides real, tangible benefits to all those involved. The scheme empowers communities in Tanzania, but its attraction to dentists in the UK also stems from the benefits it brings to their practice; developing their profile, inspiring their team, outclassing the competition and strengthening their brand. The investment to become a Unity Partner is £2500 for the first year and an annual support contribution of £250 for 3 years to cover the cost of supervising the Clinical Officer after their training is complete. About being involved in the Partnership, Ian Stephens, from Chipping Manor Dental Practice in Gloucestershire says: “ As a team, we were really proud to become a Unity Partner. Although we’d worked with B2A for a number of years, we felt that this partnership took the relationship one step further. We could see exactly where our money was going, and as we were funding the training of a local clinical officer, we knew it was making a sustainable difference. We were kept up to date with how the training was going, and received information on the community that the clinical officer would be going back to. It feels like we are now connected with a whole community – not just one person.” To find out more about the Partnership, contact unity@bridge2aid.org or call the Bridge2Aid office on 0773 3102 087.

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