Susanna Peverini blog – Uganda 2022

The dental charity in the UK and overseas

DENTAID – Uganda June 26 – 2nd July

My first Dentaid Trip – I had been wanting to volunteer for years and finally, the time has come! After a long flight from Heathrow, through Brussels, the plane touched down in Uganda. The team was Gail, Sarah, Mitch, Harjot, Abbie, Jess, Corrie, Suzie, and me. 

Sleep came easy at the Comfort Hotel. The morning was spent organising materials and getting ready for the first leg of our amazing journey through a beautiful country with amazing people. 

Our first visit to Foodstep outside Entebbe was a taster of things to come. Natalie and Werner met us with some eager children and some not-so-eager teenagers, nonetheless happy that we had come. A visit from Dentaid had been long overdue after Covid’s lockdown.

Fluoride varnish was administered to most of the younger children, some fillings and some extractions. The clinic was perfect to give the team an idea of the work ahead. The next leg of our journey took us to Stevie’s, our excellent guide and drivers’, community. What a day! Not only did we have the pleasure of meeting some of the Ugandan team that would accompany us throughout our journey, but together we were able to help 138 people needing extractions, scaling, and fillings.

The busy clinic has followed a visit to Stevie’s farm – a great way to end the day with some pineapple from the farm. We really enjoyed our day off at the source of the Nile in Jinja – a much-needed break. We would spend three days in this part of the country. 

The first visit was to Kyabirwa children’s centre. Despite a teacher’s strike which meant fewer children at the centre, the team managed an amazing job of treating 130 people, both adults and children. 

Through great teamwork and with the help of local translators and teachers, our clinics in this area, both in Kyabirwa as well as Kyomya Primary and Wakaluba West helped more than 290 people receive dental treatment.

Kaduwa, Mbale saw us set up in a local church for two days and two clinics. We met the wonderful Christine who made sure we were well looked after during clinics, providing refreshments and her smiling personality to see us through a busy clinic of over 300 people receiving treatment.

Two clinics at our next stop in Buzaaya was a wonderful experience of work and lots of local entertainment. Again over 300 people in the community received treatment.

Jed who has done an amazing job in setting up the Buzaaya Community Centre, organised local dancing and a goat roast for the team – as well as the opportunity to dress up. 

Written by Susanna Peverini – July 2022 

 There were many opportunities for the team to give school children Oral Health Instruction as well as participating in the Smile Programme that Dentaid is piloting in Toowa. All in all, the clinic was a great success and with over 400 children and adult patients treated!

I started the journey not really knowing what to expect and ended it wanted to return to Uganda. The experience has been extremely rewarding in many ways. The Dentaid Team, Gail, our team leader, Sarah, the amazing Ugandan colleagues Boaz, Glory, Ambrose, Stevie, Sam 1 and Sam 2, Leonard, and Ernest helped to make this journey worthwhile not only for the team but all the people we met and treated along the way.

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