Who can work as a volunteer?
Teethsavers Gambia needs all type of dental personnel like dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. We work primarily with two things, emergency and preventive care. To carry out emergency dental care (ie, extractions and filling therapy/ART), one must have license to practice dental medicine. Also students and those without dental background can participate and carry out preventive work. Technicians are always needed to help with installation and reparation of dental equipment and units.
How do I apply to volunteer?
Just send us an email!
Who bears the costs?
Volunteering is free, but the volunteers are responsible for travel and livelihoods (ie board and lodging). We will try to arrange cheap and good options as possible for you.
Do I have to have a lot of working experience before I go?
There is no requirement but you should feel secure in your professional capacity. If you want to do invasive work you have to be licensed.
What common dangers are there?
Serious crime is fairly rare in The Gambia. However, muggings and petty theft do occur, particularly around the tourist centers near the coast, so avoid walking around alone after dark, particularly in areas you don’t know well. In the coast area, beach boys (known as ”bumsters”) are common, and usually wait outside hotels and offer tourists anything from souvenirs to drugs and sex. The easiest is just to ignore these guys completely. Having said this, The Gambia is a safe country and you’ll see that most Gambians are very helpful and friendly often offering you help without asking anything in return. The most common danger is probably that you will grow so fund of the Gambia that you want to come back again and again and again…!
Is HIV common?
The HIV prevalence in West and Central Africa remains comparatively low, with the adult HIV prevalence estimated at 2% or under in 2009. This figure is of course higher than in western and central Europe, 0,3%, but considerably lower than in many other African countries. Read more at http://www.unaids.org/en
Do I need to bring my own equipment and materials?
All dental instruments and machines like autoclaves are available. We also try to provide the dental materials like anesthesia, needles, gauze, disinfection, etc, but these are always needed and is much appreciated if you can bring.
What language is spoken in The Gambia?
The Gambia is a multilingual country with many local languages. English is the common language and is spoken and understood by most people. Mandinka, wolof and fula are the most common of the local languages. In the smaller villages it might be more difficult to communicate with English, but usually there is always someone who can help to translate.
What happens if something goes wrong, for example a broken root that won’t come out?
We have the possibility to bring the patient to one dental clinic for x-ray or to refer the patient to Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital, RVTH, in Banjul for further treatment.
What happens if I hurt myself during the treatment?
In case of any accidents such as needle or cut injuries both you and the patient will be tested for any blood borne diseases.