Midmark donates $141,000 in dental equipment to UCU School of Dentistry
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2021/02/midmark-donates-141000-in-dental-equipment-to-ucu-school-of-dentistry/
After several months of waiting, modern training equipment arrived in mid-February for use by the newly designated Uganda Christian University School of Dentistry. On February 19,2021, Uganda Partners published a story on the big picture related to the equipment. This story, which was written in part in December 2020, narrows on the contributions specific to the USA-based Midmark and MedShare entities. Tomorrow’s story will highlight the new UCU dean for the dentistry school. The week will conclude with stories about students.
By John Semakula
Uganda Christian University (UCU) has received a consignment of dental equipment worth $141,488 (over sh520m) donated by Midmark, a USA-based manufacturer of medical and dental tools.
The equipment was delivered free of charge to the UCU School of Dentistry in Mengo, Kampala, courtesy of an offer by MedShare, a shipping company also based in the United States. The equipment includes: five Ultracomfort dental chairs; LED Dental Light; Separator Tank Assembly, a Powervac P7 Base; Powerair Oil-less Compressor and a Midmark M3 Steam Sterilizer, 230V.
The Dean of the UCU School of Dentistry, Dr. James Magara, described the donation as generous, critical and foundational in setting up a dental training lab. UCU started an independent School of Dentistry in the middle of 2020 and is in the process of equipping its training laboratories.
“We have a lot of heartfelt gratitude that the donors were able to see this need and also saw it fit to respond to it,” Dr. Magara said. “They have a very big heart to help UCU or parts of the world that are not well resourced as where they are. When you train a doctor, you have actually invested in a lot of lives because that doctor if well trained will go on to work for a few more decades.”
Joana Bideri, a third-year student of dentistry, also praised the donation. “The dental chairs in particular will help us get used to using them before graduating,” she said.
Mark Bartels, the Executive Director of the UCU Partners said Doug Fountain, the former UCU Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Development and External Relations, connected his organization (UCU Partners) to MidMark. Doug is the current Executive Director for Christian Connections in International Health, an organization that promotes health and Christian perspectives. The organization shares information and provides a forum for dialogue, networking, advocacy and fellowship to a spectrum of Christian organizations and individuals working in international health.
Doug expressed excitement that Midmark donated dental equipment to UCU for training of a new cadre of dentists.
“This is one of the most overlooked areas of health professional training as good dentistry affects health, self-image and nutrition for men, women and children,” he said. “I came to know them (Midmark) through another association several years ago and had the chance to share about UCU several times with one of their executives. This donation is a great example of partnership done well – timely assessment of need and information sharing, coordination with local partners, understanding of what the donors will need. Now let’s see this make a difference in the lives of the people of Uganda.”
According to Mark, in 2019 when former UCU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. John Senyonyi, was on a working visit to the United States, he made a connection with MedShare, which later offered to ship the equipment to Uganda. The organization (MedShare) helps in shipping donated medical and dental supplies to hospitals and medical schools around the world.
“After receiving the items from Midmark, MedShare added more medical supplies and equipment and sent the container to Uganda,” Mark said, adding that UCU Partners contributors provided $25,000 (over sh92m) for the container.
“UCU Partners is grateful to be in partnership with UCU and the School of Medicine and School of Dentistry and to provide some of the equipment needed to train the next generation of doctors and dentists in Uganda,” Mark noted. “We believe that as UCU trains medical and dental students in a Christ-centered context, they will be prepared to serve and make a difference to thousands who very much need quality medical and dental care.”
With the statistics from the Uganda Dental Association indicating one dentist for every 142,000 Ugandans, Midmark’s donations comes as a “God sent gift” to bridge the doctor to patient gap in the country, Mark said.
Mitch Eiting, the global philanthropic and corporate giving manager for MidMark also said the organization was very excited to work with Uganda Christian University Partners to donate dental equipment to the UCU School of Dentistry.
“We believe this equipment will help support the dental school by allowing students to continue focusing on the technical skills needed to treat patients successfully. Also, we are pleased that the additional equipment will allow the school to increase student registration, leading to more dental professionals much in demand in Uganda,” Eiting said.
The donation also comes at the early 2020 backdrop of a directive by the East African Medical and Dental Practitioners Council for UCU to stop admitting new students until it fulfilled certain conditions, including acquiring more dental equipment for the school. The University has since complied with the directive and is now allowed to continue recruiting new students.
For more of these stories and experiences by and about Uganda Christian University (UCU) staff, students and graduates, visit https://www.ugandapartners.org. If you would like to support UCU, including the School of Dentistry, contact Mark Bartels, Executive Director, UCU Partners, at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to https://www.ugandapartners.org/donate/
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