Uganda February 2019 – Sarah Drew

The dental charity in the UK and overseas

After months of planning and a few sleepless nights we are finally in Uganda and it feels great to be back.  
After unpacking and organising at Foodstep orphanage in Entebbe we held a clinic for the children and staff. We saw 73 patients in all. Not bad for the first afternoon!
 At 8am the next day the team headed to Gabba where they worked from a community dental clinic, we had 4 chairs and 153 patients passed through. Ugandan PHDO, Andrew received his new Dentaid portable chair which was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Aylesbury. After a busy clinic the team then headed to the city of Jinja.  
The next day was a rest day where the team met with Emily Collins who works with Soft Power Education, another charity in Jinja, In the afternoon the team spent a couple of hours on a boat trip down the River Nile which was great fun. 

The following day we worked at KCC & BPS Pre-school.   Many of the children we saw were from poor communities and had been chosen by Soft Power to have an education. We had 5 chairs and saw 186 patients.  Most of them received fluoride varnish treatments after Optident generously donated 6 large boxes each containing 200 batches of Enamelast.
Day 5 was a clinic held in a government run school (Kyamyg Primary) where 101 people were treated. The following day we had 66 patients to treat at Bugembe health centre with 4 chairs outside the building.
The clinic at Glory de Nursery & Special Needs in Jinja was the busiest so far. We saw 221 patients, with 94 given fluoride. One of the hygienists gave OHI to the children waiting outside.
The next day was a clinic in Stevie’s village.  Stevie is Dentaid’s bus driver in Uganda and the whole team wanted to make this the best day. We saw 158 patients including 73 who required multiple extractions. We had the most amazing lunch cooked by Stevie’s sister in-law, along with freshly cut pineapple and bananas from his farm. 

Day 9 & 10 were rest days for us all and we visited a sugar factory, shopped and camped at The Haven where we relaxed by the pool.
The next clinic was held in Toowa a small community in Lugazi.   We worked here for 2 days from one of the local primary schools and will never forget the greeting we received from the children. 
We saw a total of 268 patients over the 2 days and 138 people required  extractions. 

On the last day we saw 75 patients at St Aliphonse Bibbo Community School in Lugazi – it was a dark and small classroom but with everyone’s energy still high we made a small space work to its full potential, so that everyone was seen.

We were given letters of thanks and praise for the work the team had done and the service Dentaid has provided. 
Over 12 days, 1301 patients were treated and are now pain free. As a small team we made sure that every patient triaged was seen and did not turn anyone away. Everyone was exhausted but I feel immensely proud of what the team has accomplished in Uganda.