In 2018, Professor Lorna Macpherson had kindly introduced me to Nigel Borrow, Director of The Borrow Foundation, and his colleague Margaret Woodward, during a visit they made to Glasgow. That visit was associated with work being undertaken on oral health improvement in Thailand, which is funded by The Borrow Foundation. During my brief time with Nigel and Margaret we talked about the MalDent Project, in particular the strand that relates to establishment of a prevention strategy for Malawi. It was agreed that we would meet again at a later date to look at possibilities for collaboration.
That meeting took place on Friday 1st February 2019. Lorna and I flew to Southampton on the Thursday afternoon and were picked up at the airport by Nigel and Margaret who drove us to The Old House Hotel in Wickham, where we would stay overnight.
Informal discussions began over a very convivial dinner that evening. After a good night’s rest we set off after breakfast on the Friday morning for The Borrow Foundation Headquarters in Waterlooville.
The morning was spent in the Board Room. Our meeting commenced with a comprehensive summary from Nigel and Margaret on the fascinating history of The Borrow Foundation and the extensive range of projects it is currently supporting. The Foundation is a UK Registered Charity whose mission is “to promote the improvement of oral health, primarily in children, through the prevention of oral diseases”. It interacts extensively with Government departments / agencies, academic institutes, dental associations, NGOs and other charities in order to deliver its agenda. Details of The Borrow Foundation’s impressive array of existing projects are available on its web-site at http://www.borrowfoundation.org.
It became clear that the strand of work within the MalDent Project which aims to develop, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, an oral health strategy for Malawi fits very closely with the mission of The Borrow Foundation. We enjoyed a very positive discussion, the outcome of which was agreement that Lorna and I would develop a short briefing paper describing areas of activity in which collaboration with The Borrow Foundation would be worthy of further consideration by the Trustees.
After lunch, Nigel drove us to Southampton Airport for our flights home. Despite the snow our flight was only slightly delayed and FlyBe had us back in Glasgow by early evening.
It had been a very busy and intense 24 hours, characterised by positivity and enthusiasm. Lorna and I are very grateful for the generous hospitality afforded us by Nigel and his team at The Borrow Foundation and we look forward to the exciting collaborative opportunities that lie ahead for the MalDent Project.