Dorset Dentist Describes “Horrific” Standards of Oral Health at Calais Migrant Camp

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A dentist from Dorset has shared his experience of working in the Calais migrant camps, describing the situation as “horrific” and “miserable”.

Jonathan Gollings from Wimborne is volunteering at the camps as part of a relief effort organised by Dentaid. During long days at the camps, nicknamed “the jungle”, Jonathan and his fellow volunteers see a stream of patients back-to-back. Many people have severe dental health problems and most have a degree of pain. Abscesses are common and many people require tooth extractions.

Mr Gollings is now working to supply the camp with dental equipment and encouraging other dentists to offer their time and skills to make a difference.

Many of the people who have received dental treatment have already attempted to get across the Channel to England. Even though the crossing is increasingly dangerous, losing their life is a risk they are willing to take in pursuit of a better life.

Mr Gollings and fellow dentists have now worked out some kind of rota so that dental cover is available. He plans to return some weekends to help out. He said that it is very important that these people, who have already been through difficult times prior to arriving at the camp, realise that people do care about them and help is available.

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