International relief organisation, Bridge2Aid, which provides emergency dental treatment to some of the world’s poorest people, launched its Australian arm at a private event hosted by ADA NSW Centre for Professional Development at St Leonards on October 11.

According to Bridge2Aid CEO, Mark Topley, a staggering 70% of people have no access to even the most basic emergency dental treatment, which the rest of us take for granted. In developing world countries
like Tanzania, it’s probably more like 90% never see a dentist.

Stories of those affected are truly tragic and heartbreaking. The problem is worst in rural areas of Africa where there is little or no infrastructure or oral health workers.

Many people in these areas are left in unbearable pain – unable to eat, work, care for their families, form social relationships or go to school. Some of them die from
infection and complications.

In desperation, some try to self-treat to alleviate the pain with dire consequences. Infections, broken jaws and even death result from complications. Untreated abscesses fester until they burst out of their jaws or face leaving unsightly injuries.

Thankfully Bridge2Aid which is supported by foundation sponsor, A-dec and others, has committed to help those in need by providing practical training to existing rural health workers in emergency dental skills.

The work of Bridge2Aid has already been transformational in the lives of some 4 million people treated under the program in he past dozen years in Tanzania and other part of Africa alone.

Still countless millions more have yet to receive to the most simple dental pain relief, let alone restorative dentistry.

The Australian dental industry has stepped up to the plate with foundation sponsorship provided by A-dec Australia and Henry Schein Halas, plus the support of some key figures in the Australian business community and dental profession who attended the Sydney launch.

Bridge2Aid Australia will be facilitating the recruitment of volunteers to teach basic emergency dental skills to communities in Tanzania, in addition\ to donations and supplying basic hand instruments to carry on the organisation’s work where it is needed most.

Best of all Bridge2Aid empowers local communities to address the suffering by teaching local health workers emergency dental treatment such as the administration of antibiotics and emergency extractions using simple hand instruments.

This way trusted local healthcare workers with basic skills are able to tend to these extreme cases, train others and return people to productive lives in their
own communities.

Your support will make a difference to end the suffering. You can donate or volunteer by contacting Bridge2Aid at: info@bridge2aid.com.au or www.bridge2aid.com.au.

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