APT has been active in providing quality dental care in the north of Burkina in schools and villages, as well as training local nurses. This work was recognised when APT won the Private Dentistry and Scottish Dental Awards for Best Community or Charity Project for 2012! (see here).
Since Keith and Lynne were evacuated from Gorom-Gorom in 2012 because of a kidnap threat, APT has been continuing dental work in the central prison of Ouagadougou, as well as in surrounding villages.
Until recently, there was no dental care provision in the whole of our province of Oudalan. People suffer with tooth pain, often with no opportunity for relief, without making a long and costly journey to one of the larger towns many miles away. We have now started a Mobile Dental Clinic, taking dental care, education, and training into remote villages.
Lynne has worked as a dentist in the UK since 1995. She has also worked in Mozambique and Thailand, running mobile dental clinics in remote villages and refugee camps, training locals to provide dental health education, pain relief and dental extractions. She is now using this experience to help the people of northern Burkina Faso.
We have been working primarily in remote villages in the province of Oudalan, and work together with local pastors, providing dental care alongside the preaching of the gospel. The dental work has three main medical goals:
Relief of Pain. Visiting villages, to treat dental problems and pull teeth.
Education. Teaching people about basic dental hygiene.
Training. Equipping local people with basic skills for dental extractions.
A lot of the work is in villages. We set up under a tree in the village, and crowds come. People who have had dental pain for years receive relief in a matter of minutes, and go away happy. Here you can see her at work with a small team of Christians who help her to register patients, give dental advice, translate for patients, and share Christ with those who want to hear - which is many!
We have also done some work in schools, especially in the "Wakkil Alla" Christian school in Gorom-Gorom. Here you can see Lynne at work with her portable dental unit, with which she can do cleaning, fillings, and dental surgery. Most of the need however is for simple extractions.
In the schools, we also raise awareness of dental health. This involves teaching children to brush their teeth with a stick from a tree, since most will not be able to afford toothbrush and paste. Bernadette, a local Fulani Christian joined Lynne to do the teaching.
We are also collaborating with the Burkina medical structures, who have welcomed Lynne's intervention. She does occasional clinics at the hospital, treating local people, and training nurses in extraction techniques, with the goal of leaving capable trained nurses to continue the work long-term. In this, we are also collaborating with an Italian NGO, which has also started dental training for nurses in Gorom-gorom.
Since the evacuation, APT has had the opportunity to provide dental care for the prisoners in the main prison of Burkina Faso, in the capital Ouagadougou.
Prayer: Please pray for us as we begin to put together the project proposal.
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