Our practice charity
Myself and 6 other good friends (including 2 dentists) realised a lifetime's ambition in April 2011, visiting Nepal with a company called Community Action Treks (CAT), a not for profit trekking company and charity.
CAT employs local Nepalis to run treks and itself organises fresh water programmes / sets up schools and has health clinics. They are long established and have 10 clinics set up across the country treating a patient base of around 25,000. We wondered how 3 dentists and a few 'captains of industry' so to speak could best' give something back' and we decided during the awesome 12 day trek to Annapurna base camp in the company of 24 Sherpas (whose whole 12 days were spent looking after us all!) to set up our own charity, initially with a plan to fundraise and help CAT.
Our charity is HIMALAYA DENTAL (SCIO SC042494). Our aim is to advance health as well as support, fund, assist improvements in dental health amongst children and young people in Nepal.
During our initial discussions with CAT'S charity organiser Ian Wall, we were informed that CAT organise a 7-10 day training programme in the capital Kathmandu every Autumn. We were asked to organise a dental conference and help to train / advise their nurses. An idea which appealed was to set up a decay prevention programme to be administered by the company's nurses, and based on Childsmile (The successful tooth decay prevention programme piloted by Greater Glasgow Health Board, all be it adapted to the third world environment.)
The basic message of Childsmile we feel is a programme which is easy to administer and once learned can be taught to other members of the care team including medical staff .The other major issue for the clinics is the fact that throughout Nepal modernity is closing in fast. Into each major valley are going roads. We saw on our final trekking day a road which is due for completion next year and which will go quite far up the valley. Unfortunately this is going to mean big changes for the communities including lorries carrying major enemy number 1, our old friends sugary / fizzy juices, with predictably negative impacts on dental health. So we feel quite strongly that our ' Nepal adapted' version of Childsmile can not only be beneficial but is really quite well placed and timed before the sugar juggernauts arrive!
This is a key issue for any project and especially in the third world. Any project targeting prevention and which can be both easily learned and administered fits with this concept. If administered well the mothers become' ambassadors' for the project which can grow exponentially.
We like to help you here at Ciao paolo, and offer many of our services free of charge - especially in the sphere of health improvement.If you want to' give something back' please help us by making a donation to our charity Himalaya Dental. Please also sign our gift aid form.
Paul Trevisan BDS
Paul Trevisan BDS / Himalaya Dental
TREK COMPANY: www.catreks.com
Registered charity: Himalaya Dental (SCIO SC042494)
How may I experience time travel?
Well, first i need to tell you a wee story. A long long time ago, before the earth as we know it consisted of the land above the sea we call countries, fish swam in that sea. When they died they fell to the bottom of the ocean. When enough layers of dead fish lay on top of each other the pressure of this and the enormous weight of the deep sea caused the dead fish to turn into rocks. Then something else strange happened. Pieces of planet earth started to break up and move across, over and under each other along what are known as tectonic plates. Think of 2 pieces of a broken dinner plate, moving over each other. In this situation one piece of the plate goes up, one goes down. In an area now known as Asia, along the dynamic junction of the Eurasian and Indian landmasses, this movement took our dead fish rocks up,creating a huge range of rocks, or mountains, known as The Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world.
Because they were so high they were exposed to constant wind, snow, sandstorms and extreme cold in the winter and extreme heat in the summer. Water getting into the cracks in the rocks expand in the cold, splitting the rocks. Wind and sand shaped and moulded the edges of the rocks. It was one of these tiny rocks which had split from the mountain which i picked up during my Himalaya trek to Nepal in 2011. I brought it home to Ciao paolo and kept it - you can see it too.
And when you look at the rock you can say, i've been at the dentist and enjoyed time travel, because this rock from Nepal used to be a little fish swimming in the sea so long ago i can't even begin to understand when that might have been (before repeats on the BBC at least). Astonishing, huh? You can see my Annapurna Himalaya pictures on my website or in the waiting area, just ask.
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