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What a Triumph!!

We have collaborated with wonderful people and organisations notably, Smileawi, Bridge2Aid, the Dental Association of Malawi and the MalDent Project who together helped produce a first class teaching resource for our colleagues in Malawi and today Wednesday 31st March 2021 it will be launched as a pilot to 25 Dental Therapists in the north of Malawi.

The course is designed to teach our Malawian therapists and dentists to teach non-dental colleagues how to pass on important oral health and oral hygiene measures to their local communities. This will allow our extremely busy and hard working Malawian colleagues to cascade these important messages to a much wider audience than they could ever hope to reach on their own.

With her help and the help and advice from colleagues at Bridge2Aid, Professor Jeremy Bagg of the MalDent Project and the University of Glasgow Dental School and Dr Wiston Mukiwa of the Dental Association of Malawi Vicky and Nigel Milne at Smileawi produced a proposal for a project to produce 12 modules of dental education. We have provided the 25 dental professionals in Malawi with the loan of a Samsung tablet, bought mobile data, and bought each a toothbrushing model and provided them with access to the online platform. From the outset the Dental Association of Malawi were extremely positive about the course and made arrangements for verifiable CPD to be offered for completion of the course. 

The proposal was very quickly accepted by the Scottish Government and once we had the green light we convened online. Thursday evenings were soon taken up with discussions on content and format. All the team members although extremely busy in their working lives managed to start producing 12 high quality modules in a very short space of time with an extremely tight deadline. During all this we engaged the wonderful, enthusiastic Dr Martha Chipanda as our Project Coordinator in Malawi. Martha's drive and commitment has ensured that the tablets, data bundles and toothbrushing models have all been delivered to the volunteers in time to start the course on March 31st.

Also at this time Remus Chunda a PhD student at the University of Dundee School of Dentistry was filmed carrying out an oral cancer health check for one of the modules. We expect this to go down well with our colleagues in Malawi as he was a Dental Therapist in Malawi for many years. Our Smileawi sponsored Dental Therapy students in Malawi also had plenty of input and filmed a toothbrushing demonstration. We were delighted to get this unexpected opportunity to work with these fabulous young students who form such an important part of the future of dentistry in Malawi.

So many people have been involved that it might not be possible to thank them all, but we'll try! Thanks are due to Vicky Milne, Nigel Milne, Dr Andrew Paterson, Shaenna Loughnane, Paul Tasman, Jackie Aldridge, Dr Kiaran Weil, Vanessa Passmore, Dr Kathy Wilson, Yvonne Wood, Megan Viney and Dr Adam Jones of Bridge2Aid, Dr Nedson Fosiko the Malawian Ministry of Health and Population, Lynne Coia of NES and Smileawi, Remus Chunda of the University of Dundee School of Dentistry, Professor Jeremy Bagg of the Maldent Project, Dr Wiston Mukiwa of the Dental Association of Malawi, Dr Martha Chipanda of Mzuzu Central Hospital, Gentry Vinkhumbo, Edward Hara and Innocent Aponda of Smile North, Lusekero Kyumba, Khanyisele Sanga, Wiseborn Nyirongo, Mirriam Gondwe, Gift Banda, Moses Phiri and Adamson Kumwenda Dental Therapy students at the College of Health Sciences in Lilongwe, Ben Mhango - driver for Smileawi and of course Chrissie Hirst of the Corra Foundation for all her advice and support.

Posted by Robert

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