Local Berkhamsted dentist Harriet Carver first met Joseph Dumbuya in 2004. He worked with her as a dental assistant on the Hospital Mercy Ship in Freetown, Sierra Leone and the following year in Liberia. At that time there were 5 dentists in the country supporting 6 million people. Joseph’s dream was to set up a clinic in Freetown, to provide dental care for people from all walks of life.
Having been accepted by a University Dental School in Hungary to study for a dental degree, and having spoken to our club, we agreed to support him financially through his studies, along with Harriet and some other dentists. Since 2010 , this Rotary support has amounted to some £11,500, the last payment being £1000 in 2015.
The good news is that Joseph graduated successfully on 1st July 2016 and is now a fully qualified dentist; he is returning to Sierra Leone in September to start practising both in Freetown and in more remote areas. So soon there will be 7 dentists for 6.5 million people!
We had looked at the possibility of sending some equipment out to him, but the retired dentist who owned it advised that, given it's age and unreliability, it was not good use of funds to do this. However the good news is that another solution has been found. We understand from Dentaid that two dentists are sponsoring a Dentaid box for Joseph.This comprises, all in a wheelie bin, a portable dental chair and all the key dental equipment and consumables to enable a dental professional to deliver- in any locality - basic oral healthcare and emergency treatment.
We congratulate Joseph on his graduation and he in turn wishes to convey his sincere thanks and appreciation to our Club for all the help we have given him over the past six years. Berkhamsted Rotary would also like to recognise and congratulate Harriet for her determined and inspiring role in this wonderful story