Kenyan orphans given free dental treatment
A PLYMOUTH dental firm has sent members of its team to Kenya to treat more than 800 patients for free.
The Plymouth Dental Centre of Excellence, in St Budeaux, and the Devon Dental Centre of Excellence organised for 10 healthcare professionals to visit Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria as part of the work of the Smilestar Charity, set up in 2010 by the practice's lead clinician, Dr Mitesh Badiani.
He said the charity carries out a range of worthwhile activities at home and aboard with one of its primary aims to help provide critical dental support to clinics in poor, rural communities in Uganda, Kenya and India.
Among the team were Dr Badiani, Dr Alison Arnold from Riverview, Totnes and Dr John Longstreet, specialist oral surgeon from Exeter.
Dr Badiani said: "The visit was very hard work but immensely rewarding.
"We treated hundreds of children from the local orphanage and adults many of whom were HIV positive and most of whom hadn't had any recent treatment.
"Many of them were suffering unnecessary discomfort and pain and, as well as offering oral hygiene advice to the villagers, we were able to carry out everything from simple extractions to some very complicated oral surgery."
"The community has already written to us asking if we would come back so we're looking to see when we might schedule another visit in, and even more exciting have plans to set up a permanent dental clinic in Kisumu for which we're currently actively fundraising."
Dr Badiani said Smilestar also offers free dental care to medically discharged Royal Marines in the UK, many of whom live in the South West.
Working in conjunction with The C Group, part of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, more than 80 individuals are now benefiting from this charitable scheme.
Dr Badiani said: "Our charity efforts are at the very core of our organisation and we have exciting plans to do more for the local community as well as for the very poor rural communities we've linked to in Africa and India."