2015 DENTISTS SAFARI
The final stage of our 2015 Dentists’ Safari involved clinics at Lukosi and Lupote for the communities to the north of Hwange Park. We were based at Nehimba lodge, first time for the dentists, so a great deal of anticipation to enjoy the unique elephant experience there.
The first clinic at Lukosi was set up at St Marys Primary school, where our team treated 381 patients on a day that recorded temperatures in the shade well over 40 degrees C. But it was the next day at Lupote that our magnificent team of volunteers had their finest hour. On a day blessed with a cloudy sky the clinic was thronged with people desperate for the first class dental care they have come to expect from our team. Our buses shuttling in patients from the villages arrived full every time, and many more streamed in on foot.
To handle the numbers an extra marquee was set up for diagnosis, so our ‘waiting room’ was cleared and used only for administration of anaesthesia. And through what became a very long afternoon our doctors and their back up team dug deep – every single patient was treated, fed and then bused home too. A record 621 patients in a day.
546 received free dental care with literally thousands of treatments, 75 had their eyes tested and received spectacles and over 700 meals were served. But the highlight for many of us was as we drove out. A crowd of patients waiting for their bus ride home, stood clapping and waving as we departed.
Then of course Nehimba did not disappoint, providing a most extraordinary few days. The elephants and all the other wildlife including lion and wild dog congregated at the end of what has been a long dry season, providing us with a spectacle of wildlife unprecedented on any previous dentist safari. The cherry on the cake was the rains that finally started on the last day and provided huge relief to the parched earth and our thirsty herds.
To the whole team a very big and heartfelt thank you and of course… “See you next year!”