BLACKMORE VALE LIONS CLUB
LIONS MD105 – DENTAID PARTNERSHIP
Dentaid: - Lions Best Kept Secret
Dentaid is a small charity, with only three full time and two part time employees plus volunteers, situated in the village of Landford, near Salisbury. They collect redundant equipment from dental practices around the UK and use it to provide refurbished dental surgeries which are shipped to poverty stricken and disadvantaged communities throughout the developing world. They also provide training to indigenous workers, and help to set up oral health programmes in schools.
Ten years ago, after listening to a speaker from Dentaid, a member of the Blackmore Vale Lions Club in 105D suggested that Lions could assist Dentaid by organising the collection of equipment, offered by the dental practices, using local Lions. The Lions/Dentaid Partnership was formed and a joint Lions/Dentaid Liaison Committee set up. Within a year the Lions MD105 Council of Governors approved the project, that had been initiated with Dentaid in District 105D, and extended it to the whole Multiple District.
This is how it works. When Dentaid are offered redundant equipment by a dental practice, the Collection Co-ordinator at Blackmore Vale is e-mailed with the details. Using the clubs directory he contacts the local Lions Club and requests that they make the collection. He also asks them to send it to Dentaid on a recommended carrier and cover the cost from their charity fund as a donation to Dentaid. This enables Dentaid to direct all their limited funds towards building and shipping the surgeries. A few collections are made by Dentaid volunteers who are usually retired dentists. Lions clubs who live within driving distance of Dentaid often opt to deliver the equipment in person, and get a quick tour of the workshop. Here the team of engineers strip down the equipment to refurbish and modify it ready for a second lease of life in remote or extreme conditions of a developing country.
Apart from supplying complete surgeries, Dentaid also produce portable surgeries, dental caravans which travel around refugee camps and small instrument kits which health workers take out to rural communities on their push bikes.
Although the collection of the redundant equipment is of primary importance, Lions Clubs are encouraged to also make cash donations to Dentaid. All donations should be sent to the District 105D Treasurer. This is then used for projects approved by the Liaison Committee for Lions will take on. The current project is the Aloshikha Centre in Bangladesh. It is felt that this Centre will need three surgeries to serve the 10 to 12 million local population. The total cost of a surgery, including shipping, is £3,700.
The Lions/Dentaid fund, administered by 105D, together with donations sent direct to Dentaid currently stands at £2,865, so we are well on the way to funding another surgery.
I am Lion Richard Frost, the MD105 Dentaid Equipment Collection Co-ordinator and a member of the Blackmore Vale Lions Club in North Dorset, District 105D.
I hope that if I phone you to ask for your help with a collection, you will instantly say YES.
I have often phoned a club president to ask for assistance and on asking “Do you know anything about Dentaid”, I am often met with the answer, “Well, no, not really”. Hence, the heading – Lions Best Kept Secret.
So, if you feel that your club would benefit from a Dentaid speaker, volunteer, who would visit your club meeting and give a PowerPoint Presentation, then please call me on 01963 362060 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put you in touch with the retired dentist volunteer who organises this.
Dentaid’s website www.dentaid.org is also well worth a visit, and it includes much on the Partnership. While on the website I urge you to click on “Resources” and then search for and click on “Infant oral mutilation”. This demonstrates the need for oral health education.
I’m sure that after all this, you’ll want to make a huge donation to Dentaid if only to shut me up. Dentaid would be most grateful for donations of any size. The Liaison Committee do ask however that you send your donations through the Lions District 105D Treasurer so that they can keep an updated record of funds coming in.
Lion Richard Frost - MD105 Dentaid Equipment Collection Co-ordinator
(Blackmore Vale Lions)
Dentaid’s website www.dentaid.org
A Letter of Thanks
I would like to take this opportunity first of all to introduce myself. I am Dr Eva Kyomugisha Nkandu, the Director and Founder Member of JOSEVA Dental and Medical Services Consortium Ltd. And actually, a beneficiary of the Blackmore Vale Lions Club.
I am writing to you to sincerely extend my heartfelt thanks to the Blackmore Vale Lions Club for their kind sponsorship to us with a complete Dental Surgery! We received the equipment and installed it and it is now fully operational. Your kind support is really making a lot of improvement in the lives of deprived people.
The reality on the ground is that the oral health care situation in the project area was very bad and of course Uganda in general is still a very big challenge. Therefore, when we get support like this, we feel honoured and we appreciate that there are people who care for the less advantaged.Thankyou very much once again for your support - and the struggle continues!
God bless Blackmore Vale Lions Club.
Dr. Eva Kyomugisha Nkandu BDS. Kampala, Uganda
Dentaid is a charity based near Southampton. It's aim is to provide dental equipment and training to under-resourced countries across the world and by this means help to ease the health problems created by poor or non-existant dental care. Dentists across the U.K. give Dentaid equipment that is surplus to their needs, often after surgery refurbishment. Where necessary Dentaid refurbish and modify the equipment to make it easier to maintain in isolated places.
Lions clubs across the country support Dentaid in two ways. The first is by donatioin of funds to help with specific projects that Dentaid undertake. Lions also help with the collection and delivery of equipment from dentists to Dentaid.
The Dentaid Project
Few of us like visiting the dentist. However, in the UK, in an emergency, there is usually one within a reasonable distance. This is not the case in many poorer countries throughout the world where oral healthcare is rare, sometimes non-existent. To get an example of what this means, think of the last bad toothache you had then multiply the pain by a lot. Add to this the danger of serious infection that can follow if adequate treatment is not forthcoming, then you will appreciate the hardship and agony that the lack of adequate health care means to these people.
This is why we in Lions support Dentaid, a small charity based near Salisbury, which addresses this situation in different ways. In addition to education and training, Dentaid provides and ships complete surgeries in response to specific requests for assistance. These surgeries are mainly made up of equipment donated by dentists throughout the UK and refurbished in the Dentaid workshop.
The Lions support Dentaid in two ways. We provide direct monetary assistance from our charitable funds. we also help in the collection and transportation of the equipment from the donating dentists to the Salisbury workshop, thus saving funds for the Charity to use elsewhere.
Lions have handled well over 600 transportations and we mean to continue helping this very worthwhile charity for the foreseeable future.
Blackmore Vale Lions Club was one of the main instigators of the partnership with Dentaid and one of our members has been the collection co-ordinator between Dentaid and Lions clubs throughout the country since the inception of the partnership.
Blackmore Vale Lions were largely instrumental in setting up this partnership with Dentaid in 2002 and act as the national co-ordinators for Dentaid. We arrange for a Lions club local to a dentist to collect the equipment and ship it to Dentaid.
These photos show members of Blackmore Vale Lions accepting an award from Andy Jong, the C.O.E. of Dentaid, in recognition of our support over the past years. The photo on the left shows two Lions inspecting a portable dental chair, designed and developed by Dentaid. This is far superior to the rickety chair or kitchen table for both patient and dentist.