Henry Schein Dental UK and ICD partner with Bridge2Aid in Tanzania
Henry Schein Dental UK and the International College of Dentists’ (ICD) Global Visionary Fund (GVF) has supported Bridge2Aid’s dental training programme through the donation of health care products.
The programme took place in the Geita region of Tanzania from 11-25 September 2018 and was supported by seven volunteer dentists and four volunteer dental nurses. During this two-week period, twelve rural health workers were trained in emergency dental treatment and around 1,000 patients were treated.
For more than 14 years, Bridge2Aid has been training rural-based health workers in East Africa, providing the dental community with the skills, equipment, and resources they need to offer emergency dental care. Current statistics estimate that 70% of East Africa’s population has no access to the most basic dental care. The stated ultimate goal of Bridge2Aid is to provide everyone with access to emergency dental care – and to create a world free from dental pain.
Kaysha Wright, Fundraising Executive of Bridge2Aid, paints a stark picture: “There are currently only 500 dental professionals treating 56 million people in Tanzania. More than half of Tanzanian citizens live in rural areas with limited or no access to emergency dental treatment. Through our dental training programme, we are able to provide the skills needed for rural health workers to be able to treat their own community’s long term dental needs.”
Henry Schein’s product donation is an initiative of Henry Schein Cares, the company’s global corporate social responsibility programme. Health care activities supported by Henry Schein Cares focus on three main areas: advancing wellness, building capacity in the delivery of health care services, and assisting in emergency preparedness and relief. The support for Bridge2Aid is part of Henry Schein Cares’ long-term partnership with the ICD Global Visionary Fund.
Patrick Allen, Managing Director of Henry Schein Dental in the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa, explained: “Bridge2Aid’s approach towards building capacity and enhancing access to care for underserved people aligns perfectly with the goals of Henry Schein Cares. The success they have had over the past years is tremendous; to date Bridge2Aid has provided access to emergency dental care for more than five million people.
“We have been supporting Bridge2Aid for some years now through a variety of activities, and we are pleased to find additional opportunities to continue our cooperation with ICD’s GVF.”