The Dentist Magazine.

Support for charity mission

Published: 18/05/2017

Henry Schein Dental UK supported Burmadent charity’s recent mission to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) by donating urgently needed healthcare products.

During this mission, which has also been supported by dental materials provider Voco, seven volunteers (four of whom were dentists) took care of more than 620 patients in nine days in remote rural areas of Myanmar. In addition, aftercare education was given.

Myanmar has poor dental services. There is no access to dentistry and oral neglect is rife with no oral health education. Many of the people are unable to afford or access dental treatment. Following a chance encounter whilst on holiday in Myanmar in 2012, Sharon Bierer and Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen organised a trip to Inle Lake in November 2012, to provide dental care to orphans at the Mein Thauk orphanage. Accompanied by two Burmese dentists and Mrs Lesley Naismith, senior manager of Henry Schein’s practice solutions affiliate Software of Excellence in the UK, they treated more than 1,200 patients around Lake Inle. As a result of this successful trip, Burmadent was founded and registered as a charity in the United Kingdom in January 2013.

“We saw plenty of children with mouths filled with blackened stumps of teeth, sometimes infected. But the effect of fluoride varnish is beginning to show in those orphanages we have been visiting for the last three years,” said Sharon Bierer, one of the founders of Burmadent.

“We have to thank Henry Schein and Voco for their generous help for these desperately poor people. Without their and the volunteers’ kindness, none of this could happen.”

Henry Schein’s support is part of Henry Schein Cares, the company’s global corporate social responsibility programme. Healthcare activities supported by Henry Schein Cares focus on three main areas: advancing access to care, building capacity in the delivery of healthcare services and assisting in emergency preparedness and relief.

“Burmadent’s purpose is to encourage dentists to volunteer their time to provide dentistry to the poor and disadvantaged in Myanmar. We are very happy to be able to contribute in such a positive way to the oral health of so many people through this activity,” said Patrick Allen, managing director of Henry Schein Dental UK.