What We Do

Facilitate groups of self-funded UK volunteers to travel to Malawi and carry out free pain clinics for the rural population.
  • Promote oral health through education and prevention.
  • Provide support for local dental therapists through education and donations of materials and equipment.
  • Recruit and fund the training of Malawians to become dental therapists.
  • Fundraise to buy materials and equipment for our pain clinics and to support the existing dental facilities and dental therapists.
  • Repair and maintain hospital vehicles with the help of Smileawi Spanners.

Oral Health Survey
In June 2019 along with dental students from the University of Glasgow and the University of Dundee we travelled to Malawi to carry out an Oral Health Survey designed by the dental public health department of the Glasgow Dental School to record the prevalence of dental disease in 5- to 12- year old children. This turned out to be the largest study of its kind in Sub Saharan Africa and we eagerly await the publication of the results. At the same time we also collected data for a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde recording for him measurements of the levels of fluoride in the water in the wells of the 6 primary schools we visited. As we were also looking for signs of fluorosis in the school children the results have been advantageous to both parties and again look forward to publication of the result.

Smileawi Mobile Dental Van
We were delighted to be offered a fully functioning dental van by Highland Health Board. A trip to the beautiful island of Mull along with Alan to inspect the truck resulted in Smileawi receiving ownership of this great facility. The truck is now sitting in the carpark of The Hollies dental practice and has created a lot of excitement not least from our local Rotary organisation who have tirelessly been fundraising to help us with the cost of upgrading and transportation of it to Malawi. The Covid-19 pandemic has inevitably slowed the process but is giving us time to work out the logistics, making sure that when the mobile dental truck gets to Malawi it will be used to its full potential, it is safe and well looked after.

Collaborative Projects
Working with Professor Jeremy Bagg the Dean of the University of Glasgow’s Dental School has been very valuable to Smileawi. Professor Bagg is an extraordinary networker, and it is due to this gift of his that Smileawi has developed such productive partnerships with other organisations including Bridge2Aid, Dentaid and his own Maldent project. In June 2020 we planned to carry out a pilot study in Malawi of the successful model Bridge2Aid have used in Tanzania for 15 years that upskills medical officers in rural areas to carry out emergency treatment. We had been awarded a Scottish Government small grant to undertake the pilot but unfortunately due to the pandemic the study had to be postponed and in October after reconfiguring the grant we were given permission by the Scottish government to use the grant for a different programme which is being developed as this is written, With the Dental Association of Malawi, Bridge2Aid, ProdentalCPD, our Malawi Coordinator Dr Martha Chipanda and Smile North all working hand in hand to develop an e-learning training programme aimed at dental therapists to improve their knowledge and skills and enhance their ability to train others in the delivery of an effective oral health message. This is an amazing opportunity to spread dental health messages throughout the rural populations and in the long term decrease the level of dental disease in these areas. The project has created great excitement among our dental therapists in Northern Malawi and we are hoping to be able to deliver the first modules early in 2021.

Latest News & Updates

27th Sep 2022

21 students being supported

Smileawi are now supporting 21 dental therapy students!! A huge problem in the College of Health Sciences and Malawi generally is that although students qualify for college entrance they cannot afford to pay their fees, accomodation and upkeep resulting in them dropping out of their courses....

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