Jerusalem Tour Day 2

This blog entry was kindly written by one of the volunteers during the trip:

Today we continued with our tour of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. We went to the top of the Mount of Olives where we were greeted with a spectacular panoramic view of Jerusalem.

We were privileged to be invited to the Palestinian Dental Association where we were given a guided tour and were made aware of the many difficulties dentists and dental students face living here. It made us feel really appreciative of the support we receive in the UK throughout our training and careers. Personally I was staggered by the level of dedication my colleagues here are demonstrating in remaining in a challenging profession given their circumstances. It has certainly made me reevaluate my issues in life.

We then visited a charity that provides support for single mothers and orphans. This support varies from basic food packages to arranging fun activities for the children. It is run by an extremely dedicated woman who is passionate about maintaining this crucial service for her community. I think I speak for all of us when I say she is a truly inspiring person who we will not forget.

We went on to visit the Jordan River, Jericho, Hebron, and ended our day with a lovely evening in Bethlehem where we were able to take part in the Christmas Eve celebrations. A perfect end to a very exhilarating day.

Umara Tariq

Jerusalem Tour

After a good night rest the team met for breakfast and were ready to beign our tour of Jerusalem at 9am. The team covered over 11 miles through the historic streets of Jerusalem as we took in the array of amazing sites including the Via Dolorosa, Church of Holy Sepulchre, the Wailing Wall and the Al-Aqsa mosque complex including the Dome of the Rock. We admired some beautiful rooftop views of this historic city and later in the evening visited family homes in the old city of Jerusalem. This long day was finished with dinner kindly cooked for us by a local family.

Palestine 2016 Dental Aid Project Begins

Today the dental team are travelling from around the United Kingdom to meet at Manchester airport and they will fly together to Tel Aviv. The team this year includes a dental nurse, a dental therapist and a dentist currently in their vocational training year. We also have a specialist registrar in paediatric called Helen Rogers, joining us this year. Helen has been able to secure us a great deal of free dental stock such as stainless steel crowns that we can use to provide dental treatment.

On arrival in Tel Aviv there was a a wait for several hours for a few of the team members whilst the Israeli security forces carried out security checks but thankfully everyone was eventually issued a travel visa.

Looking forward to a few days of sightseeing before getting stuck into work.

Tel Aviv 2016

Palestine dental team in Tel Aviv airport 2016

Dental Aid for Gaza

This project started almost 2 years ago after our first dental aid mission to Palestine and has taken a long time to be realised. During our first dental aid mission we received a large number of donations  which were greatly in excess of what we required. This money had been donated to help the people of Palestine so we wanted to make sure that everyones donation was spent where it was intended.

In early 2015 we began working with Interpal to fund 2 dental units to be delivered and installed in Gaza. Unfortunately due to the many restrictions imposed on importing and exporting goods from Gaza this process took over a year for us to achieve.

We are delighted to announce that the first dental unit has been delivered to a clinic in Khan Younis ,Gaza and the second chair should be delivered in the coming weeks.

We would like to thank everyone for their kind donations and support for our projects.

Project Kashmir – Mission complete

KORT full pic

3 surgeries. 165 children. Been there, DAN that.

It has been an amazing experience for all of the DAN volunteers involved but unfortunately we need to leave the wonderful children of KORT and return home. We are flying out later today and should arrive back in the UK later this evening.

You can read a summary of the DAN Kashir dental mission by clicking on this link.

The title for this post says “Mission Complete” but in reality we all feel that it is only just beginning as there is still a lot of work for us to do here. Watch this space for updates.


Kashmir final dental clinic day

KORT final dental day

Despite the late evening yesterday we started bright and early today. Treating patients through lunch time to ensure we completed our treatment plans as tomorrow is the last day of the mission. Our team of volunteers beginning to feel a bit emotional about the final day tomorrow. After clinics we were afforded the privilege of a tour of the inner working of the famous Mangla Dam. From there we made a surprise visit to the KORT orphanage to play cricket and table tennis with the kids. Big smiles all around despite a few of us being bowled out for Golden ducks. The DAN team will be packing their bags tonight for our imminent departure tomorrow. It’s been an exhausting, wonderful and fulfilling mission.

DAN symposium evening

Another excellent mission day for Team DAN. Despite the constant power cuts the DAN team operating 3 full time surgeries treating the lovely children of KORT. Only 2 more full days treatment left it will require some over time to ensure our children receive the complete care they deserve and our dedicated team is ready to do that and more if necessary. We are all in love with these wonderful orphaned children.

Kashmir day 4
The evening was spent hosting the DAN dental symposium. 3 members of our team delivering educational lectures to the local dentists. All the presentations were very well received. The Kashmir TV news station covered the symposium and will be joining us in the hospital tomorrow as part of a documentary that will be aired on national TV. Our DAN team were presented with awards for their work with the Kashmir community and DAN also presented awards to some of the local dentists that have facilitated and supported our mission.

We were all awake late signing off 165 Certificates of Dental Health for the children which we hope to present to them on our final day. Needless to say the team is exhausted after such a busy day but we’re loving every minute of it.

Kashmir symposium

First day of dental treatment begins

The whole team had their heads down working through the treatment plans for the children of Kashmir Orphans Relief Trust. The children were brilliant. They really appreciated the tender and caring approach of our team. Tiring day for all involved but very satisfying.

More of the same tomorrow.

Kashmir day 3

First clinic days in Kashmir

The beautiful children of Kashmir Orphan Relief  Trust arrived in their bus loads for the first day of the dental clinics. The aim for the first day is to complete dental exams so that we can organise treatment appointments for the coming days.

Kashmir day 2

In total our 3 clinics screened 165 children!! A tremendous effort from the entire DAN team. Yesterday’s oral health seminars appeared to have helped a lot – almost every child was an expert on oral health and their teeth were remarkably clean. The seminars were a new initiative introduced for Project Kashmir and we expect it will be a fixture in future missions. The evening meal was at the KORT centre. Sitting amongst all the smiling children was better than any fine restaurant; an evening to remember. As some of our team prepare for bed a few of us are putting the finishing touches on the DAN Dental Symposium we’ve organised for the local dental community. More updates tomorrow

Organising the Kashmir dental clinics

To sum up today in 3 words:

  1. Gruelling
  2. Rewarding
  3. Fun

It’s been a long and gruelling day for team DAN. We started early by visiting our clinics which were well below UK standards in terms of hygiene. Our entire team of 8 volunteers plus additional helpers spent over 3 hours disinfecting all surfaces and preparing our clinics with all of our dentists on their  hands and knees scrubbing and mopping. A lot of our equipment will be disposable removing risk of cross infection.

Kasmir cleaning the clinic

After cleaning up we went to visit the kids at the current orphanage which is now too small for them. The children were divided up into groups and the DAN volunteers gave them all interactive oral health seminars covering tooth brushing and dietary advice. It was inspiring for all involved as the kids clearly loved it. We also drove out of the city to see the magnificent new complex being built to cater for their needs. Once complete this will be the biggest orphan centre in south Asia.

On our return we had a glorious meal with all of the children, which was exactly what we needed after a long gruelling day. After finishing the meal the children showed off their sporting abilities by beating us at table tennis and cricket. Everyone had a great time.

Time for bed now so that we can be fresh fo our first day of check ups tomorrow. Can’t wait..!