Current Programmes

Community Oral Health Promotion

One of the key pillars of our work is embedding oral health knowledge into communities where this does not exist. This preventative work can be carried out on a large scale and is the key to large scale improvement in oral health across the population.

Our current work on this front is happening both in Tanzania and in Malawi.  In both countries we are training Oral Health Community Champions.

We are delivering core oral health messages to thousands of teachers, nurses, village managers and health workers who are then educating their own communities.

In Malawi we have provided training to the Dental Therapists.  We have then organised region by region training of Red Cross volunteers who are responsible for sharing these messages with their communities.


Ending Infant Oral Mutilation

In Tanzania we have a prevention programme focused on the issue of Infant Oral Mutilation.  Because there is very little knowledge around oral health in rural east Africa some dangerous myths and treatments have become established. If infants suffer from sickness or diarrhoea when they are developing their first set of teeth, traditional healers often diagnose the growing teeth as the cause of the illness.  They call these teeth plastic teeth (due to their softness). The ‘treatment’ (Infant Oral Mutilation) is to remove the growing canine teeth without the use of anaesthetic – and usually with unsterilised, improvised implements. This is extremely painful, dangerous and can be fatal.

Infant Oral Mutilation happens to around 2.5 million children each year in East Africa. It is a dangerous and sometimes fatal practice where developing teeth are gouged out of the gums of small children using unsterilised, sharpened bicycle spokes. This practice is dangerous and sometimes deadly.

Since 2022 Bridge2Aid has been working with Tanzanian dentists and health workers who are delivering large scale community training with us.  Our focus is on influential members of the local community (especially teachers) and training them to actively educate their communities about the dangers and myths around plastic teeth and infant oral mutilation.

A key part of this work has involved large scale community surveys to monitor changes in attitude and beliefs around Infant Oral Mutilation – you can see the survey results here


Oral Health Training in the UK

As well as working in the developing world we are now working in the UK.  There are many communities where oral health messages don’t reach and the cascade training model that we have developed abroad is well suited to addressing this issue.

We delivered our first Oral Health Training in the UK in 2023.  Working with fourth year students at Bristol Dental School we developed a training programme focused on care homes in Bristol.  Training was given to care home staff for them to act as Oral Health Champions in their workplace.

Moving forwards Bridge2Aid have worked with Bristol Dental School to include touch-points in every year in the curriculum for dental students.  Over the four-year course Bridge2Aid will be working with the students to highlight the benefits of oral health promotion, identify underserved communities in the local area, make contact with community partner groups and devise and deliver training specific to this group.


Developing training for all levels of health workers in remote and rural locations in the developing world.

Bridge2Aid has worked in partnership with The Dental Association of Malawi, The Ministry of Health of Malawi, Smileawi, Smile North (Malawi) The Maldent Project and ProDental CPD to develop online, digital training for Dental Therapists in Malawi.  We are working closely with the Dental Therapists to increase their scope of knowledge and understanding of oral disease and treatment pathways.  There are 12 hours of course content and a pathway for the Dental Therapists to then progress as trainers in our Oral Health Portion Work with the Red Cross.

We are also working with the Vaka Health Foundation and the Nurses Guild to develop a series of microcredential courses for nurses across anglophone Africa.

Read the amazing story of how Bridge2Aid began, and some of our history here

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