More dental equipment for Kamuzu Central Hospital

Following the installation of donated dental chairs and pre-clinical skills units (phantom heads) in May, by Dentaid and Henry Schein, (, we are now on a joint mission to identify a further six dental chairs, ideally of the same type (Belmont Pro II) as recently installed, and a further six phantom heads for the Dental Department at Kamuzu Central Hospital. This week has taken us a long way forward.

I am just back from a round trip to Inverurie, a few miles north west of Aberdeen, to collect a Belmont Pro II dental chair that Stuart Bassham at Dentaid had been contacted about. Once again I had visited Leslie Commercials in Hawthorn Street, Glasgow, for a suitable van.

Stage 1 of a long trip to Malawi for this donation 

Literally whilst I was waiting at Leslie Commercials to be shown to the van, I received a WhatsApp message from Stuart to say that he had identified, in Chichester, six phantom head units which matched those that had been installed at KCH in May and which were being donated to Dentaid.  This is like finding gold, because it will allow us to complete the refurbishment of the 12 unit pre-clinical skills facility in Lilongwe, which will support the College of Health Sciences dental therapist training and, in due course, the College of Medicine BDS 3 students on the new programme. Many thanks to the Medical Education Centre at St Richard’s Hospital, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for this generous donation.

Phantom heads
Exciting WhatsApp messaging!

So I was in high spirits when I set out at 7.30am today for Inverurie. Despite a yellow weather warning for heavy rain, the drive up was completely dry. It included a short break at 9am for some breakfast at Glendoick Garden Centre, one of my favourite pit stops. I arrived at Inverurie Dental Care about 11.30am and met Jill and her husband.

Like all of the dentists in the practice, Jill qualified from the University of Glasgow Dental School, graduating in 1999. She had recently installed a new suite of equipment in her surgery, although the dental chair itself was still functioning well. Shortly after graduating, Jill had worked in Orkney for a few years and had been involved with transfer of equipment to Dentaid from there as well, so this donation was continuing a theme!

Three Glasgow dental alumni who have headed North!

The dental chair was on a ‘skateboard trolley’, so it was relatively simple to move to the van and load. It is in great condition and a perfect match for those that have already been installed at KCH. The van was huge compared with the size of the load, but small vans aren’t fitted with tail lifts!

Jill bids a fond farewell to a chair she knows well as it heads off to deliver many more years of useful service in Malawi

The weather stayed fine for the drive back to Glasgow. On Monday morning our friendly and helpful portering staff will help me to unload the chair for temporary storage at Glasgow Dental Hospital.

In due course I will be heading back to Leslie Commercials for another van to complete the chair’s journey to Dentaid in Southampton. For that trip the van will be full – many more donated dental items will be crossing the Border from Scotland en route to Malawi in the not-too-distant future.

Thank you for your support Jill. We’ll send a photo of your chair in its new home in due course!

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