A DENTIST from Norwich is using National Toothache Day to appeal for international charitable support from within East Anglia.
Gautam Sharma, who sees NHS and private patients at his West Earlham Dental Health Practice, is preparing to participate in a specialist charity mission to Lebanon, where he will provide dental care to Syrian refugee adults and children, as part of a recently established outreach programme.
Dr Sharma will accompany a small number of other dentists from the UK, dubbed the Dental Mavericks, and will play a vital role in caring for youngsters and their parents in one particularly disadvantaged community.
Ahead of the trip, and to coincide with today’s National Toothache Day, Dr Sharma is asking to hear from business owners and managers who would be happy to contribute gifts and gestures which could be shared with the young children.
In particular, he would like to present the village community with Norwich City Football Club items, soft toys, or colouring books.
“I am so proud to be taking part in this trip as the only dentist from the region to do so,” said Dr Sharma.
“It means a lot to me to be able to spend my professional life educating youngsters and their parents about dental health, and to treat them when intervention is required.
“But to get to do so in a deserving community in a part of the world where things like dentistry are often forgotten or too expensive for the mass population – that’s a wonderful opportunity for me to participate in.”
Dr Sharma’s trip takes place in April, but he is keen to hear from businesses in the coming weeks, so that he can plan for further baggage to be taken as part of the mission.
He is also keen to hear from schools and organisations who may want to hear about his trip on his return.
He added: “There’s no better day, than on National Toothache Day, to emphasise the fact that dental issues are a global consideration.
“The message about dental hygiene, regular brushing, minimising sweet treats, and accessing a trusted dentist are as important anywhere in the world.”
To contact Dr Sharma and offer to help with his appeal for gifts, email him on firstname.lastname@example.org