Thu, 08 Sept 2016
A DENTAL assistant has decided to give up the relative comforts of the surgery in Newbury to treat refugees in northern Greece.
Victoria Whitfield, pictured right, who works at Cousins Dental Practice, Bartholomew Street, will travel to Thessaloniki to help provide oral treatment, advice and education to the refugees.
It is estimated there are almost 60,000 refugees trapped in the country, with the cash- strapped Greek authorities struggling to house such a large number of desperate people.
Many are forced to live in squalid conditions with limited to access to basic facilities such as running water.
The 26-year-old from Lambourn was offered the chance to help through dental charity Dentaid.
Ms Whitfield said: “There has been virtually no access to dentistry and most people are suffering from dental pain.
“No-one has a toothbrush or toothpaste, access to running water is very limited and many children are unaware about the importance of oral hygiene.
“I’ve always wanted to go abroad doing what I do and this has given me the chance to do that, especially with the current situation with so many people in need of help.
“We will be going over on Friday, we’ll set up the surgery, and we’ll provide treatment and advice on oral hygiene.
“I’m feeling a bit anxious but I’m very excited to get over there and get stuck in.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge.
“I’ll be doing more or less the same as when I’m at the surgery but we’ll have limited equipment.”
Anyone wishing to donate to Dentaid can do so via Victoria’s fundraising page https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/victoriawhitfield1