A Croydon dentist travelled to remote Peru provide healthcare to isolated communities last month.

As part of a team of six volunteer medical professionals, Deepali Patel, owner of Mayfield dental, worked alongside local Peruvian staff treating a variety of common health issues to villagers in the Amazon.

The Vine Trust's Amazon Hope programme works closely witht the Peruvian ministry of health to provide healthcare to over 160 remote communities on the Amazon and its tributaries.

For local villagers, healthcare and transport to the nearest hospital are largely unaffordable and inaccessible.

The volunteer teams work and stay on the medical ship which docks at various stages along the Amazon, acting as a floating health centre.

Ms Patel said: “I’ve always felt for people, especially when they are in difficult circumstances.

"The idea of spending time and using your skills to go and help them, without the expectation of anything in return, had always appealed to me.

"I found my experience on board immensely valuable and fulfilling, both professionally and personally.

"As a dentist back home in the UK, we try and save teeth whenever possible.

"One of the most challenging things I found was that the local Amazonians would not be able to access advanced dental care, and the ship only visited every 3 months, so extraction was the only option.

"To be able to see everyone, we had to limit how much treatment we could do per patient, as the boat needed to move onto the next village."

If you are a healthcare professional and would also like to volunteer visit: https://www.vinetrust.org/about/medical-services.

To make a donation visit: https://www.vinetrust.org/donate