The Dental Mavericks recently took to the streets of Asni to help improve dental care for hundreds of people. Here’s what happened…
There is a huge lack of education about oral hygiene and healthcare within the Berber community of Asni, with children and parents unlikely to visit dentists. Because of this, children are often left in severe pain, ridden with infection and unable to do anything about it.
In a bid to change this, the Eve Branson Foundation recently arranged for a group of dentists and nurses to fly to Morocco and stay within this community, to help as many children as possible in just two days.
The Eve Branson Foundation works closely with the Berber community, creating sustainable enterprises and opportunities for young women and their families to develop healthcare initiatives where needed in collaboration with local Berber people.
It was through this mindset set that they invited a group of volunteer dentists and nurses, named the Dental Mavericks, to fly to Morocco and help the Berber community.
It emerged that children in our local communities were not brushing their teeth regularly and that dental hygiene and healthcare was a serious issue which was causing unnecessary pain for many young children. The initiative became all the more significant as it emerged just how widespread this issue was for the region.
A walk-in surgery was created, able to host up to 100 young patients per day, across two days, and ahead of the trip the dentists and the EBF worked tirelessly with interpreters and other volunteers to spread word of their visit and set up a triage system. This way the maximum number of children could be treated.
The system worked, and children from varying surrounding villages made the journey to be seen. Some cases were particularly difficult, with young children needing three or more teeth extracting, and some had serious infections that were detected and could be treated.
Often local dental treatment is administered without anaesthetic and can be extremely painful – because of this, lots of children were very scared of being seen by the team – the Dental Mavericks however, created a fun environment and distributed toys and toothbrushes to all patients, to ensure a better experience.
This vital activity will now continue through a sustainable programme run by the Eve Branson Foundation, in collaboration with local schools and governing bodies. The programme will work to promote the importance of regular tooth-brushing and has already been approved by the Local Minister of Health.
The dentists even covered their own costs through fundraising in the UK prior to the trip and are set to return in 2015 to treat more children.