Dentistry and the Toronto-Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TAAAC)
Drs. Joel Rosenbloom, Lindsay Louwagie, and Bhavna Sharma, from the University of Toronto, spoke with Dr. Chiraz Guessaier about their recent trip to Ethiopia within the Toronto-Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TAAAC).
The Toronto-Addis Ababa Collaborative is the university of Toronto’s largest global academic program to teach graduate students in Addis Ababa in Medicine, Nursing and Social Studies who will be amongst the leaders instructing the next generation of academics and professionals in Addis Ababa.
For the Faculty of Dentistry, the goals of the collaborative were to strengthen the bonds between the University of Toronto and the Addis Ababa University dental programs, to impart clinical and didactic knowledge to the students and to learn about the potential and possibilities of international partnerships in dentistry.
Reflections on the experience include:
- The dental students and locals were extremely warm and hospitable.
- Students were very engaged and desired to give back to their own communities and improve dental and oral health.
- Students were motivated to learn from others.
- There should be some room for flexibility in the curriculum since modifications may be required.
- While dentists who have graduated may have placements in rural settings and have patients to treat, the availability of materials and supplies is a substantial barrier in providing treatment.
- There is still an overwhelming need for public health education and awareness as it relates to dentistry.