International dental charity Dentaid has launched its Christmas appeal for 2017 as it seeks to provide dental care for people caught up in refugee crises in Greece and Uganda.
The charity is raising funds to send teams of dentists to the refugee camps on the northern Ugandan border where 3 million people have fled from South Sudan. For £500 a day Dentaid can send 10 Ugandan dentists to the camps to run clinics for people in desperate need of dental care. Dentaid is also planning to send portable dental equipment to a medical facility set up in a nearby village where a room will be transformed into a dental clinic.
Dentaid has worked in Uganda for the last 15 years and supports a network of dental professionals who provide outreach clinics in poor and remote communities. Teams of volunteer UK dental professionals often travel to work alongside them. The scale of the refugee crisis in the north of the country is upsetting and shocking but there has been little media coverage about the people and their plight.
In Europe thousands more refugees are preparing to spend another Christmas in overcrowded camps. In Moria Camp on the Greek island of Lesvos, Dentaid runs a clinic for refugees suffering severe dental pain. Last week the latest volunteering team returned from the island and described the conditions. “It’s simply terrible with about 7,000 people crammed into a camp designed for 2,000 and more people are arriving each day,” said trip leader Jane Lelean. “We treated 300 people in a week but we know we only scratched the surface and many more need urgent dental care. People are in terrible pain and have severe dental infections. It’s essential that Dentaid continues its work in Moria Camp.”
Money raised by the Christmas appeal will fund more equipment for the dental clinic in the camp so teams of volunteers can treat more patients.
“Dentaid’s mission is to provide safe dental care to the most marginalised and vulnerable people in the world and this Christmas we are raising money to help those caught up in refugee crises in Uganda and Greece,” said Dentaid CEO Andy Evans. “Dental infections are adding to their misery and affecting their general health and wellbeing. We hope the whole dental industry will get behind this campaign and we would like to say thank you to everyone who supports us this Christmas.”