Dental relief for children in Palestine
A group of Scottish dentists who embarked on an aid trip to Palestine over Christmas are now aiming to set up a permanent clinic in the area by the end of the year
Glasgow-based clinicians Tariq Bashir, Attiq Rahman, Omar Iqbal and Asid Khan set up the Dental Aid Network (DAN) last year in order to provide dental treatment to children in impoverished areas.
Over a six-day period in December, the charity treated more than 200 children and Tariq explained that the mayor of Nablus, the Palestinian town they visited, has even offered to provide premises to set up a permanent clinic.
He said: “Although we have been offered premises by the mayor we believe that, at this point, our own building would be too big a step for us. We believe that the best option just now would be a surgery within an existing clinic.”
Omar is heading out this month (March) to talk to the charity’s dental contacts in Nablus with a view to setting up a part-time clinic within an established practice. The DAN dentists are working closely with the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund and the local dental association, to establish the level of need and make sure they are not stepping on the toes of local dentists.
Tariq said: “We do need to be very careful how we go about this, how we set up these clinics and who we see. We also need to make sure that they are not open to abuse. This is not to be a free clinic for patients who should be paying to attend a local clinic, this is to see children, many of whom are in dire need of treatment.”
For more information on DAN, visit www.dentalaidnetwork.org