Trying to help: Benefits and risks of dental volunteering in the developing world
The aims of this lecture are to give participants an appreciation of oral health inequality in low and middle income countries. To create an understanding of the skills, attributes and behaviours required of individuals and organisations to aim to be ethical and effective dental volunteers. To highlight common pitfalls and risks involved in international healthcare volunteering. To facilitate participants to more easily recognise the features of beneficial sustainable dental volunteer programmes in the hope that some of these may be useful to those interested in volunteering.
This presentation is relevant to dentists, dental care professionals and those considering, or involved in, dental volunteering in the developing world, together with students hoping to either embark on overseas electives or to volunteer in the early part of their career.
- Participants should be able to recognise the importance of putting sustainability at the heart of dental volunteering programmes
- Participants should be able to identify common risks and pitfalls in dental volunteering programmes
- Participants should be able to describe the essential features of an ethical dental volunteer programme
This course is designed to meet the GDC’s development outcome (TBC) and will qualify for 1.5 hours of verifiable CPD.
About Andrew Paterson
Andrew Paterson was President of the Glasgow Odontological Society in 2003-2004. He worked in a restorative dentistry centred practice in Glasgow for 22 years and has formerly been an NHS Consultant at Glasgow Dental Hospital and Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock and as a dento-legal adviser for a Dental Defence Organisation. Andrew was brought up in Uganda, Kenya and Malawi and has always had an interest in developing world dentistry. He undertook a Masters Degree in Medical Law and Ethics where his dissertation was on the ethics of international healthcare volunteering. He is currently studying this further and is undertaking a part-time PhD on the subject. Andrew is a regular volunteer, clinical lead and trustee of the UK dental development charity Bridge2Aid which trains non-dentists in emergency dentistry and oral health education in rural Tanzania in conjunction with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and the Tanzania Dental Association. Recently Andrew has become heavily involved in attempts by Bridge2Aid to introduce a similar model to rural Malawi in partnership with the Dental Association of Malawi, Smileawi and the Universities of Dundee and Glasgow. In his current re-invention Andrew’s “day job” is in academic dentistry as a Senior Clinical Lecturer/Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry at the University of Dundee/NHS Tayside.