Lisa Bayly, a MSc Applied Dental Professional Practice graduate signed up to the Smile Star Charity trip to India in February. The Smile Star charity helps those that have no or very limited access to dental and medical care.
Lisa told the Centre for Professional Practice: “Badiani hospital in Khambalia was our first venue. The Smile Star team was made up of volunteers: dentists, a doctor and the support team. We took our own equipment with us, so we had everything we needed to set up our clinical area in the main hall using waiting room chairs and a long table to lay out our dental equipment. That day, we saw over 180 patients.
“Our second venue was in the Bhatia village hall. We were inundated with patients, some who had been in pain for days or weeks due to a lack of access to local or free dental care.
“Day three, however, was our most humbling experience. We set up in Karamyog school in Jam Kalyanpur and were the first Western organisation to visit this place. The welcome we received was remarkable. Hundreds of people lined up with the Dholi drummers and dancers to welcome us. Truly humbled by the hospitality, we got to work for our busiest day yet. During three days we saw just under 1000 patients for dental or medical care, each one grateful for the care we gave and each filling our hearts for the Indian people a little more.
“I would recommend others thinking about something like this to sign up for the Smile Star charity (www.facebook.com/SmileStarLtd) as it’s such a rewarding and humbling thing to be able to do.”
The Centre for Professional Practice offers flexible, part-time, work-related programmes and CPD courses for working professionals. To find out more, visit www.kent.ac.uk/professionalpractice