These last couple of weeks, I haven’t taken enough time to brag on our practitioners that have been providing treatment day to day these past few months, Matilda and Edward. These two young practitioners were trained in the same program at a missions hospital in northern India, where our assistant Esther is headed right now for training as a denture technician. I left Liberia mid-May, which means I only contributed to the work in the clinic for about 4 months this year; but this year the clinic will once again register a record 5,500 new patients, nearly all of which come to us with a toothache. Frieda has been involved clinically, but very lightly, serving more as a mentor for Matilda and Edward and as clinic manager.
Matilda has only about 6 months experience since graduating from her training program. While I was there, she asked for help with only two patients. If you’ve heard anything about the difficulty of extractions in West Africa, that is incredible for someone with six months experience. And one of the patients took me about another 30 minutes of work after I took over – I was even about to look for someone to help out.
As I've said many times before, Edward is also a natural. Both of them have also been doing some really nice fillings on front teeth. Over time, they will be able to charge a bit more for these and begin to subsidize the other more emergent procedures.
But I don’t want to stop there. Every member of our team plays a crucial role in the operation of the clinic and all of them do it so well. There are so many small things to help out with and they are all willing to lend a hand in whatever way they can. I am so thankful for the team that God has brought together at TDC.
I also forgot to mention that while I was there, I was joined at the end of the first week by Vicki Thompson, one of our Mercy Ships friends and a dental hygienist who is filling in for Frieda. Frieda has decided to take her LOA while she was back in Canada. Vicki has already been instrumental in getting Esther rebooked and sorted for her trip to India. Thanks for being willing to come, Vicki!