Over 70% of the world has no access to any form of safe treatment for oral diseases and infections. People are abandoned to agony for months and years. They face life-threatening infections and pain that is so severe that they cannot work, go to school or feed their families.

Step in Bridge2Aid, a charity whose main objective is to free communities in the developing world from chronic pain by teaching vital new skills to rural health workers.

The charity provides intensive practical training in emergency dental skills to treat and educate. Training is delivered by expert volunteer teams.

It preventable chronic dental pain has significant financial and academic impact. Pain prevents people from growing crops, working, caring for their family or attending school. This has larger repercussions on national economies as well as the lives of individuals.

Dental pain causes as many working & school days to be lost each year as malaria, so millions of people are prevented from growing crops to live, working, caring for their family or attending school.

Full service dentistry is expensive and difficult to deploy for the vast majority of locations, due to the technical nature of the equipment, the cost of materials and lack of power, and also the willingness of highly trained clinicians to live in remote areas.

Bridge2Aid addresses a chronic lack of access to emergency dental treatment simply and sustainably through the training of existing rural community health workers to provide simple dental pain relief by extracting infected teeth, and providing oral health education.

They also provide the equipment and resources to be able to carry out basic dental procedures. Each health worker (Clinical Officer) serves a rural population of around 10,000 people, and training is provided by volunteer dentists from the UK, who fund their own trips. These volunteers willingly use their skills and experience to help those in need.

The Charity’s primary objective is to provide a long term solution. So it trains existing rural health workers, who play an essential role in rural Tanzania. They are based in the countryside and perform 60-80% of a doctor’s tasks. They serve rural communities and are the first point of contact for people’s illnesses and injuries. The health workers are provided with additional training and tools to serve their communities with simple emergency dental treatment. They are also provided with an initial support network until their confidence and experience grows. So far more than 400 Tanzanian rural health workers ( clinical officers) trainings have taken place , and more than 4 million people have been given access to emergency dental treatment .To date Bridge2Aid has run 78 training programmes in Tanzania.

Bridge2Aid has provided access to safe emergency dental care for over 14% of the rural population in Tanzania.Free dental treatment has been provided to over 38,000 patients during training.94% of patients receiving treatment were satisfied or very satisfied with their treatment The overall pass rate for the training programme is 92% and on average the full cost of training one rural health worker is £8000.

Post training, a rural health worker sees on average 270 dental patients per year and a rural health worker once qualified can treat 98% of patients attending their clinic.

Bridge2Aid Australia will be launching in Sydney in October this year


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