Dentist sinks teeth into charity effort

AN Ipswich dentist has sunk her teeth into a new project by helping set up a clinic in Ghana.

AN Ipswich dentist has sunk her teeth into a new project by helping set up a clinic in Ghana.

Clare Tyers was part of a 21-storng team which travelled to the town of Nandom with the charity Freed-UK.

Along with two other dentists Miss Tyers trained two Ghanaian women as dental nurses and equipped and opened a new dental clinic in eight days.

Now the clinic is helping patients whose nearest dentist used to be 300 miles away.


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Miss Tyers, who was involved in a similar project in Nepal five years ago and now works at Ipswich Hospital, said: "When I arrived we were given a room to set the clinic up in which did not even have a functioning fan - in 37 degree heat - or a light.

"We educated two nurses to provide a basic dental service, including simple extractions with local anaesthetic.

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"As soon as the clinic opened we were inundated with patients, and around 100 people were treated while I was still there.

"Unfortunately, because of a lack of trained staff, the dental clinic is only being used one day a week, so we want to continue educating dentists and I'd like to go back at the end of this year."

The dental clinic was given shelving and a work surface, a working fan and light, a sink and equipment including an autoclave, syringes gloves, swabs, masks and forceps.

Nandom has a population of one million yet the hospital has just 171 beds and one qualified doctor.

Have you travelled aboard to help set up a vital institution? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Ghana

Ghana is situated in west Africa and is bordered by Togo in the east, Burkina Faso in the north, Cote d'Ivoire in the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the south

The official language is English but there are about 75 spoken languages and numerous ethnic groups, including the Akan, the Mossi, the Ewe, the Ga-Adangme, the Fante, and the Hausa

The word Ghana means Warrior King

Ghana was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient kingdoms, including the Ga Adangbes on the eastern coast, inland Empire of Ashanti and various Fante states along the coast and inland

In 1874 it became a British colony called Gold Coast and it gained independence in 1957

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