As a result of our work with the MalDent Project and Henry Schein in Malawi, we planned to meet up for two days in Derby at Henry Schein’s offices to start writing the biomedical engineering training modules for dental engineers in Malawi and other Lower and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs).
I picked up a van from Arnold Clark close to the Dentaid office and workshop in Totton and loaded up some items for the Scottish Dental Show that John, our FD, will pick up in Glasgow later in the week. Jeremy will take them back to Scotland after our last meeting day in Derby on Wednesday and pass them on to Nigel and Vicky of Smileawi – such cooperation between 3 charities!
Some months ago, Christine Finlay from Northern Ireland offered Dentaid some excellent equipment. The dilemma was how we could get it! Christine kindly offered to take a ferry to Liverpool and drop it off at a suitable location for me to pick up.
After a few attempts, I came across a very helpful practice in the heart of Liverpool called The Dental House.
Philippa kindly received the donation (four large boxes and a delivery unit) on Thursday 16th June which I was then able to pick up four days later.
I was able to hand over a Dentaid bag full of information and Dentaid Community badges for their team.
I left Stafford at 7:15 am for Derby and arrived by 8:40 at the Henry Schein offices. Chris and Jeremy had already arrived so we were able to get to work straight away. The office building is a perfect location with a dental showroom and an engineers training workshop.
We had plenty of space to work and discuss ideas and by lunchtime had agreed an outline of the training course: We then each set to work on different facets of it and finished the day with a great deal of tangible progress.
Whilst Chris headed home to his family for the evening, Jeremy and I headed across the road to the Premier Inn for a meal and rest.
My next donation collection was just 10 minutes further down the road at the University Dental Hospital.
I had arranged it with Laura Gartshore, Undergraduate BDS Programme Director, who was, unfortunately at a conference, but I was ably looked after by Tracy, who presented me with a huge box of donated instruments and filling materials.
Well fuelled for the morning, we headed across the road to the Henry Schein offices for Day 2. We agreed that a half day would be sufficient to get to an appropriate point with writing the training programmes.
Chris managed to contact many suppliers who quickly responded positively to our requests for material to include in the training.
Chris showed me the engineer’s training area with older chairs donated by Dentaid to assist in training in heritage equipment. This is extremely useful as engineers are often trained by manufacturers on new equipment for installations, but rarely given specific training on the older equipment that is commonly found in dental practices. This also ties in with the age and type of equipment that we most regularly see in Sub-Saharan African countries such as Malawi.
So, the first major part of our work was complete and we now have a few more months of tying all the various elements together to create a cohesive online training package for dental therapists and biomedical engineers.
Thank you Chris and Jeremy for a productive couple of days.
Written by Stuart Bassham – Engineering & Workshop Manager