The Power of Pain

Posted in: Blog, by Bridge2Aid Team, on 10th October 2013 | 0 comments

By Ian Wilson

I was again reminded recently of the reasons we train local healthcare workers to relieve people who are pain in East Africa.

blog4-1A female patient came to see me the other day because she had been in pain for months and felt emotionally drained due to poor care that she had received in the past, which had left her in pain physically but also emotionally as she was unable to smile properly.

To put a long story very short, in a number of days we were able to not only take away her physical pain but also transform her smile. The process allowed her to be changed from a woman with no confidence to a person who was in tears of joy because she could smile again and be herself in front of friends and family.

It’s not often that you see a patient break down in tears in the dental surgery, let me assure you.

What a parallel to the millions of people – men, women and children – in developing nations who on a day to day basis are in physical pain because of dental disease. What’s more, they also have the cost of the emotional pain and the loss of dignity through disfigurements and chronic oral infection that causes them to be rejected and isolated by members of their communities.

For some in developing nations, what to you and I is a simple swelling that has been caused by a long-term abscess or infection, can be interpreted as a social taboo; this can mean the loss of friendships, this can mean the loss of employment this can mean your children being asked to leave school as the swelling ‘must mean that you are not able to function as a human being!’

For us at Bridge2Aid the opportunity to inspire and facilitate passionate dental professionals in the UK who want to train rural East African healthcare professionals and therefore deliver for those members of the communities, is a great privilege.

–          Ian

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