At a glance:

Trip dates Thursday April 11- Saturday 27th April 2019 – FULL

The cost of the trip is £2250

Team of 8

Flights from London to Lilongwe, 2 nights in a hotel then drive to the village of Bulala.

Staying in hostel accommodation with shared rooms

All Dentaid volunteers should attend a training day ahead of their trip. The cost is £20 which includes 3 hours CPD and lunch. 

There is a desperate need for dental care in Malawi. The country has fewer than 40 registered dentists for a population of 19 million people and access to dental services is particularly difficult for people living in remote rural communities.  Dentaid volunteer Nick O’Donovan and his team have visited Malawi on several occasions to provide emergency pain relieving dental care for people living in Bulala and the surrounding villages.

In Easter 2019, Nick will lead a team of Dentaid volunteers who will set up a temporary dental clinic in Bulala. Many of the patients will require extractions but we will also offer fillings, scale and polish and oral health programmes.

These will be busy clinics. People arrive through the night and walk several hours to seek out dental treatment.  We use a ticket system to try to ensure that people are seen in an orderly fashion but demand is huge and up to 100 people will be waiting for treatment at the start of each day.  Most patients will have had no treatment since the team’s last visit.  In some clinics we will prioritise children and those suffering from infections and immediate pain.

The team will take portable dental chairs and use equipment provided by Dentaid, although any extras you can bring are much appreciated. This will be an incredibly rewarding experience and the chance to use your skills in a region where people have little or no access to dental care.  The cost of your trip includes flights, accommodation, transport, meals and dental materials and equipment.

The team will fly into the capital Lilongwe and spend two nights at a hotel  before heading 4 hours north to the village of Bulala. You will stock up on essential items as many things aren’t available in the village. Due to the road conditions you will travel in a 4×4 vehicle.

In Bulala the team will stay in a lodge with male and female dormitories with bunk beds. Please note THERE IS NO RUNNING WATER SO BATHING IS FROM LARGE BARRELS OF HOT WATER. Electricity has recently been added and a cook will prepare your meals in the courtyard. Typical meals include chicken, spinach, rice and a cornmeal paste called sima. The team will have 8 or 9 working days in Bulala. At the end of the trip   we plan to have a couple of rest days at Lake Malawi where you can watch some of Malawi’s amazing wildlife before flying home.

The lodge where the Dentaid team will stay

Extract from Nick O Donovan’s Malawi diary 2017
I got up at 4:45am and went to the clinic – it was dark as there are no streetlights or mains electricity in Bulala.  The place was full. I handed out 75 tickets and didn’t have enough, there were at least 30 other people waiting. Most of these people had been there all night.
We saw all 75 people that morning and another 50 in the afternoon. The last 20 or so were quite tricky with the final patient having all his lower right teeth removed. He had a draining external abscess. In 20 years of general practice I have never seen this and this was the second one this week.
I then gave out tickets to the 38 people still waiting and told them they would have to wait until tomorrow as it was getting dark.  But one girl needed two teeth extracted.  He mother had four-week-old twins and had walked half a day to get here so we saw her so she could go home.
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Trip Dates

April 11th – 27th 2019 -FULL