Monday, 22 February 2010

Dental clinic set up

As part of my job I help oversee the medical equipment used for our offship dental clinic.  This off ship clinic is where we provide free dental work for the people of Togo.  It can include fillings, cleanings, tooth removals and abscess removals.  Unlike many western people who generally aren't a fan of dentists, the people of Western Africa are often incredibly pleased to have an opportunity to see a dentist.  Many have suffered with tooth ache or other such maladies for a considerable time, and welcome the relief that is brought when the Mercy Ships dental team work to treat their dental problems. 

The dental clinic is based a 20 minutes drive from the ship in a three storey building which thankfully has some air conditioning (when the Lome power is on!).  On the ground floor is the wonderful receptionist Joyce and the dental educator, who teaches the people dental hygiene whilst they are waiting.  On the first floor in a large open plan room there are stations for 8 dentists and 1 hygienist.  And on the top floor there are the generators which supply the power for all the dental equipment, the compressors which provide the air for the dental units, and the sterilising room.

I spent two days out at the dental clinic helping set up the equipment and get the new suction units installed.

The place where people get their teeth pulled!

Refuelling the generators
Starting up the generators

Getting to work