Sutton woman among team to help set up a dental lab in Uganda

A team of 14 volunteers went over to Destiny Medical Centre in Wakiso, Uganda, for two weeks to complete as much of the work as possible and set up the dental and ophthalmology services.

The Destiny Medical Centre was founded by GP Dr Dee Weevil and is in the grounds of the Kampala Children’s Centre.

Work started in 2015 on the building work and when complete it aims to provide general outpatient care, dispensing of medication, dental clinic and dental laboratory services, eye clinic, antenatal clinic, family planning clinic, postnatal care, paediatric immunisations, radiology facilities and a HIV clinic to the communities of the Wakiso and Kampala areas.

Andrea Johnson, trustee board chair, Parul Gandhi, incoming Den-Tech CEO, and Andrew Sinclair, trustee board vice chair

Andrea Johnson, 48, trustee board chair at Den-Tech, said: “Uganda is always a very challenging environment to work in due to the climate and the poor infrastructure, among other reasons.

“The team worked 11 to 12 hour days every day over the two weeks with only one day of rest. Most days they experienced power cuts that would last for hours and at time and had to work in the dark with just head torches to light their way.

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“On the second week the teams ran both dental and ophthalmology outreach clinics in the local area for two days.

“The dental outreach clinic was set up in a tent and the Den-Tech team were joined by three Ugandan dental staff.

“Over the two days they saw 117 patients, extracted 99 teeth, carried out 21 fillings and made seven dentures.

“It is such a privilege to be able to restore the dentition of some of the most needy patients in these situations who would not otherwise be able to access or afford dental treatment and especially not dentures.

“From the 21-year-old who had lost four of his anterior teeth in a motorbike accident who said he felt that he would now have a future where he could be loved and taken seriously when applying for jobs, to the lady who could once again eat a varied and healthy diet.

“Every patient was incredibly grateful and felt this would have a life changing effect for them.”

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