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Charity work in Kenya May 2014

In May 2014, Smilestar charity took a team of four highly skilled dentists, four dental nurses, a midwife, a general nurse and two support staff to Kenya and they each paid their own fares. Dr Pickering was one of the dentists involved in this trip and also had an opportunity to take his daughter Scarlet along.

Each of the team members had to fund their own trip and incredibly, they also took all the dental equipment they needed from UK which was either donated or money raised. 

This trip was very different from the others as this time they took a midwife and also a Kenyan eye specialist was invited along with the community nurses to join the team, to provide more general outreach medical services.

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Hiram (Eye doctor)                               Nicola (Midwife) & Scarlet helping

Many of the rural areas in Kenya do not have a dental service, and in some instances, the only available dental treatment is provided by witch doctors. The nearest dentist is located in Isiolo town, which is at least a two-hour drive away or more than a full day’s walk. The Samburu have poor access to clean water and they use a twig from “the tooth brush tree” to clean their teeth.

 To help bridge the gap in government health care provision, The Safari Collection is helping to facilitate access to medical facilities and health care for the Westgate Community with the assistance of Smilestar charity, founded by Mitesh Badiani (clinical lead of our sister practices in Devon). His vision is to provide free, quality dental treatment to as many people as possible, particularly remote disadvantaged communities where basic dentistry is not available.

Over the duration of the week the team saw no less than three hundred dental patients, extracting over 500 teeth in total.  They gave away hundreds of toothbrushes and educated mothers on caring for their children’s teeth. They visited five different areas of the conservancy, giving optimal opportunity to all community members to attend for treatment.


Conservation will only ever be truly successful, if the communities understand the correlation between protecting wildlife and the tangible benefits they receive from living in harmony with and protecting Kenya’s wildlife. Their goal through the projects is to encourage communities to embrace conservation and help them see wildlife as an advantage and not a threat. In order to help us achieve this, Chis Lekupe the Westgate Community Manager and Yesilai one of the Ewaso Lions warriors came with us every day to talk to the community about the importance of conservation and tourism, while the clinic was being run.    

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Dr Pickering taking out some teeth                   The whole team             

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