A dental nurse from Braunton is heading out to Africa to volunteer onboard a hospital ship providing emergency dental care to people in desperate need of treatment.

The Africa Mercy at sea.The Africa Mercy at sea.

Kate Rogers works for Riverside Dental, but will be leaving it temporarily on Saturday (February 24) to join other medical staff for a month on the ship Africa Mercy.

The ship is operated by the charity Mercy Ships which provides free, often life saving treatments in impoverished regions where frequently there is little or no medical care at all.

Kate will be working in the central African country of Cameroon.

She said: “This will be the third time I have been to Africa as a volunteer, but this is my longest stint by far.

Braunton dental nurse Kate Rogers on a previous trip helping out the Mercy Ships charity.Braunton dental nurse Kate Rogers on a previous trip helping out the Mercy Ships charity.

“The dental team I’m working with will travel inland each day to treat people who need it - a great many people need urgent help over there.”

Mercy Ships relies solely on volunteers, from cleaners to medical staff and even the ship’s crew and captain.

Kate is raising £1,250 to help fund her trip and you can click on the link below if you would like to help.

Africa Mercy has seven operating theatres, wards and cabins for the volunteer crew. They travel to poor countries where conditions are harsh and healthcare is almost non-existent.

Kate added: “Patients out there often have complex needs, even life-threatening conditions.

“It is a challenging place to work because of the climate and things like regular power cuts, which of course means our dental equipment won’t work.”

Kate often carries out procedures on her volunteer missions that she wouldn’t do in her normal job at Riverside Dental, such as filings, simple extractions and anaesthetics.

She said: “We see hundreds of people, often queuing to see us all day in 35 to 40 degree heat - sometimes even having to com back and wait again the next day. No-one complains - they are just really grateful that we can treat them. It is hard work for us, but incredibly rewarding.”

* IF YOU would like to help Kate raise money for her volunteering trip onboard Africa Mercy, go to her JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/katherine-rogers5