Cottingham Dentist Swaps East Yorkshire For The East Of Morocco

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Dentist Chris Branfield, from Cottingham, recently swapped East Yorkshire for the East of Morocco as he embarked on a charity mercy mission to help children affected by severe toothache and decay.

This was the fourth time Chris has visited remote communities in Morocco as part of a programme run by the charity, Dental Mavericks. Many of the kids have never seen a dentist before and their sugary diet and lack of oral hygiene means that most have extensive decay.

Chris and his fellow dentists travelled through mud tracks and winding roads to reach the remote villages of the Rif Mountains. Previously, Chris visited El Jebah and standards of oral health have improved significantly since his visit in 2010; however, this time, he travelled to Merchekala and it was like starting from the beginning all over again.

Chris said that many of the children were covered in sores and had shockingly bad teeth. Most people have very little English and the team relied on hand signals to help children to relax and explain very briefly what they were going to do. The children drink a lot of sweet tea and oral hygiene is non-existent and as a result, decay is rife.

Chris and his fellow volunteers treated more than 260 children in the mountain villages and at least 200 in El Jebah. He said that the experience was challenging and each year there are different barriers to overcome, but the work is important and hugely rewarding and he is looking forward to the next trip.

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