Chiswick dentist Raffaella Gabassi is to make another relief trip to Sierra Leone where she treated hundreds of children and adults with tooth decay last year. She is once more appealing to Chiswick people to send donations for her trip which will be on September 27.
Unwanted toys, children’s clothes, toothbrushes, and cash can all be dropped off at her dental surgery at White Dental and Cosmetic Rooms, 128, Chiswick High Road.
The contrasts between the African country and the UK are stark. Here there is one dentist (NHS)for every 2,400 people, while the figure for war-ravaged Sierra Leone is 1 dentist per 1.1 million. There are only five dentists for 5.7 million people.
Raffaella has now set up her own charity, The Smiling World Foundation, for which the website is www.smilingworld.org. You can visit this website to get a better understanding of her work . The charity is currently awaiting registration, and is days away from obtaining it. In the meantime, the option to donate is still available.
As well as going out there twice yearly with her volunteer dentists she intends set up a program that will continue whilst she is back in the UK.
Raffaella’s work involves travelling to rural areas and treating people living in abject poverty- last year she treated over 1,500 adults and children, some of whom had been in severe pain. Onthis trip she will reach areas where no dentist has ever been and spend some time treating and educating the children of Kailahun, a village near the border of Guinea and Liberia.
She will also be visiting schools and orphanages to treat the locals in other towns, as well as educating the teachers and parents about the importance of good oral hygiene and the causes and consequences of oral disease. It is a startling fact that a decayed tooth in Sierra Leone, though highly preventable, kills children and adults through different complications due to infection and poor sanitation.
Raffaella, who is principal dentist at White Dental and Cosmetic Rooms on 128, Chiswick High Road, would love items which would help to make childrens’ lives easier in this African country which, as well as having one of the highest child mortality rates, has some 75 percent of the world’s amputees, following the brutal 10-year war which ended in 2002.
She says of her mission:
“It might look like just another drop in the ocean, but even the ocean is made up by individual droplets, and every penny will go toward helping these children. I have so much support from my lovely patients, and I hope to be able to one day fund a dental school in Sierra Leone. No one that touches this land comes home unchanged. I have this mission in my heart, for to watch a dying child the age of your own is an excruciating experience, but by being there many children will not die, as this charity is set up to also sponsor life saving and life changing operations. I love my profession and I love Chiswick, this however is a vocational job, and I feel a call of duty… please join me.”
Donations of items can be dropped into the clinic at 128, Chiswick High Road, or financial donations through the Smiling World website.”
Last year, people in Chiswick donated 2000 toothbrushes, about 3000 painkillers, over 700 antibiotics and paid for three parents to take their children to have their operation in hospital and be fed until the child was recovered and fit to go home.
White Dental and Cosmetic Rooms
128 Chiswick High Road,
Chiswick. London W4 1PU
Telephone +44 (0) 20 8747 9933