Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ACF Member leads Dental Missions to Uganda

In June of 2003, Dr. Paul Musherure was invited by a fellow Dentist, Dr. John Sexton of Arvada Colorado, to a mission trip to Romania.   The team spent one week working at an Orphanage treating many children who would otherwise not have access to decent Dental treatment.   Seeing the difference their visit made in the lives of the Orphans, Dr. Musherure was convinced that the children of Uganda would benefit from a similar program, especially some of the orphans receiving treatment for HIV+/AIDS.   He had earlier made a deal with Dr. Sexton that if he joined in the trip to Romania, he too will accompany Dr. Musherure on a similar trip to Uganda.
In October 2003 the promise was fulfilled, and Dr. Sexton along with 6 others from Colorado joined Dr. Musherure on an initial exploratory trip to Uganda.   After visiting several orphanages and treatment centers, the group chose the Mildmay Center  for their program.   Mildmay is a Christian non-profit organization headquartered in the United Kingdom that runs outpatient hospitals/centers providing care and training to HIV/AIDS patients, as well as training to healthcare professionals in many locations around the world.   Since this facility already treats Aids/HIV patients, it seemed an ideal place to provide the care to the target group they were looking for.   In February 2004 Dr. Musherure and a team of 16 people organized the first Dental Clinic at the Mildmay clinic, and were able to treat about 300 children.   Every year since 2004 Dr. Musherure has led a team of medical personel and other volunteers to this clinic in Uganda, and over 3,000 children have been treated as a result of this ministry.   The composition of the team has changed over the years as the team from Colorado has dropped off but several others have joined in the effort.

A collaborative approach
The Ugandan Dental Missions project is a true partnership between the medical team from the United States and local medical professionals in Uganda.   By the time the team from the United States arrives, the Ugandan team has already laid the ground work of publicity, setting up equipment, and any necessary advance preparation so that once the group from the United States arrives they can hit the ground at full speed.   This collaborative approach makes for greater efficiency during their usual 10 days of direct patient care.   At the conclusion of the ten days, the America team returns home while the Ugandan team continues with patient follow-up.

Over the years, more than 3,000 children have been treated at this free clinic.   This project is partially funded by the volunteers each of whom has to raise funds for their travel and maintenance cost.   In addition, several generous benefactors from Michigan have underwritten the expense of their effort.   More recently several others have joined in as sponsors, including Dr. Musherure's Home Church, Crossroads Church in Cottage Grove Minnesota.Klick here for more photos of January 2011 dental missions.

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