Our own sleep apnea expert and restorative dentist, Dr. Jennifer Mullarkey, recently returned to Arlington Heights from a volunteer trip to Malawi, in southeast Africa. The trip afforded Dr. Mullarkey the opportunity to bring much needed dental care to residents of Malawi and surrounding villages. She also took the opportunity to help assess the area’s need for dental professionals. We’re very proud of everything Dr. Mullarkey accomplished, bringing the same dedication and care she shows every day at AHSmiles to people in need thousands of miles away.
The Access Health Africa Organization
During the trip Dr. Mullarkey worked with the organization Access Health Africa. Together, they helped start a dental volunteer program and visited several villages in Malawi to see what access people had to dentists. She found that many villages were without dentists and the ones that did have dental professionals were lacking necessary supplies and resources to treat common problems, such as cavities or dental infections.
Her Work with Student Volunteers
While there she also offered treatment. She worked alongside four volunteer dental students from UNC. At the Bwaila Hospital in Malawi, they performed 153 extractions in just 6 hours, helping people suffering from infections, abscesses, and other serious oral health concerns.
Dr. Mullarkey already has plans in place to return in 2017. During her next trip she hopes to bring more dentists, as well as more supplies, to rural villages and the Dzalaka refugee camp, which houses refugees from a variety of surrounding countries, including the Congo, Rwanda, and Somalia. If you have questions or would like to learn more, then visit www.accesshealthafrica.org.