Getting their teeth into tackling poverty

ALBANIA BOUND. Dentist, Anne Bell (front), Janet Knight (Dental Hygienist) and Sarah Knight, (Dental Nurse) who are off to Albania on August 27th.INBM24-11 049SC.
ALBANIA BOUND. Dentist, Anne Bell (front), Janet Knight (Dental Hygienist) and Sarah Knight, (Dental Nurse) who are off to Albania on August 27th.INBM24-11 049SC.

HEALTH professionals from across north Antrim really are getting their teeth into tackling poverty in Europe’s poorest country, Albania, writes Nevin Farrell.

A team of dental and medical staff will again travel to remote regions of the eastern European country where conditions in 2011 are still described as ‘third world’.

Each year a medical and dental team fly east and they hold clinics to provide medical care and do free dental work for people who are too poor to pay for the privilege with dentists in Albania that they resort to removing teeth with pliers.

Among those going to Albania are Dr Brian Lynch and his wife Noreen, who is a nurse, from the Country Medical Centre at the ‘Dry Arch’; dentist David Bell who works in Scotland and Anne Bell who is a dental nurse in Dr Brown’s surgery in Queen Street, Ballymoney; Janet Knight, dental hygienist from Broughshane; Janet’s daughter Sarah Knight - a dental nurse - and Dr Roberta Campbell from Ahoghill.

Anne Bell told the Times: “This is our third year going to Albania and we get a great sense of satisfaction from being able to assist people in a very poor part of the country.

“We were the first medical and dental team from outside Albania to travel to the particular village we go to. Over four days we will see about 130 patients. Many of them are for tooth extractions and we carry out all the work free of charge,” she said.

Anne added: “The first year we went we were able to treat many children in the area and the second year the parents came along too because the people are just too poor to pay for dental treatment.

“As they are so poor getting their teeth seen to is down the list of their priorities and instead they are concentrating on ensuring their families have enough to eat.”

To raise money for the trip to Albania wityh a departure date on August 27 a Coffee Morning and Auction will be held on Saturday June 18 from ten to midday at Mr Matthews’ house at 56 Macfin Road, Ballymoney.

Items for the auction have been secured with businesses like Beauty at Logan’s in Cloughmills and Sarah’s Shoes and ‘Ground’ in Ballymoney.

All proceeds will go towards the trip which is being run in conjunction with the ‘Adopt a Child’ charity.

If you would like to assist in any way with the trip please contact Anne Bell on 02827665683.