MCW Ships Container of Donations to Tanzania to Support Critical Oral Health Care Needs
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, April 7, 2014 – MCW announced today the arrival of a container of oral health care equipment and supplies for the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) at the Dar es Salaam port. The shipment, sent by ocean freight, is packed with donations supporting the MUHAS School of Dentistry, Tanzania’s leading dental facility, which is in critical need of support to provide higher quality services and dental education to the underserved population.
“MCW’s goal is to improve oral health care conditions in Tanzania by transferring state-of-the-art equipment and supplies, donated by leading U.S. dental equipment suppliers, to the MUHAS School of Dentistry that will help the facility build sustainable oral health services,” said Dr. Marion Bergman, Director of MCW’s Health Care program. “The arrival of the container demonstrates the significant impact non-profit organizations can have when they work in partnership with the private and public sectors.”
The container was cleared and transported to the MUHAS School of Dentistry by the Tanzanian Medical Stores Department (MSD) with support from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Valued at more than $500,000, the container includes digital x-ray machines, computers pre-loaded with Dentrix Enterprise, a dental practice management software system, and installation equipment.
In preparation for the arrival of the IT equipment, the school installed LAN cabling to support faster Internet services, upgraded the facility’s electricity infrastructure and introduced related security measures.
The three-week installation of the equipment and the training of the dental school staff on how to use and manage the new software and digital x-ray equipment is scheduled to begin at the end of April. A team of six professionals from Henry Schein, Inc., will take the lead with the installation and training.
The donation of equipment, planned installation and staff training together represent the third phase of a capacity building project that began in 2008, when MCW and the MUHAS School of Dentistry signed their first memorandum of understanding dedicated to upgrading the school’s dental clinic. A second agreement followed in 2011, which focused on establishing the school’s dental laboratory. MCW mobilized support for this collaborative health care initiative from leading global dental equipment and supply providers, including DCI International, Henry Schein, Inc., Midmark and Sirona.
The MUHAS School of Dentistry Dean, Dr. Elison Simon, thanked all of the donors on behalf of MUHAS. “Similar to other previous donations from MCW, this donation will further increase efficiency and improve both teaching and service to patients and therefore help us to realize our mission and vision,” he said. “We shall make sure that we use them with meticulous care for the benefit of the nation.”
Tanzanian President, H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, expressed strong support for the oral health care initiative from the beginning. Senior representatives from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, alongside the MUHAS Dental School and Muhimbili Hospital have also provided critical support.
“MCW shares the vision of MUHAS and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare leadership for the MCUHAS Dental School to become a center of excellence for the region,” said Dr. Bergman. “The arrival of the new container and planned installation and training is yet another step toward making this vision a reality.”
MCW (Miracle Corners of the World) is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 with the vision “Local Change through Global Exchange®.” Our mission is to empower youth to become positive agents of change in their communities. Based in New York, with partner organizations in Africa (i.e., Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia), MCW offers the following programs: Global Youth Development, Community Development and Oral Health Care, as well as Partner Initiatives (e.g. Pediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa). MCW’s core values include integrity, compassion, accountability, responsibility and excellence. www.mcwglobal.org