.

Local nurse heads off to Cambodia

Dental nurse Puja Parmar
Dental nurse Puja Parmar

Puja Parmar will be helping children and families brush up on their oral health when she takes time off as a maxillofacial dental nurse at Northwick Park Hospital, to volunteer in Cambodia.

The part-time actress and model who has appeared in East Enders and is a former runner-up in Miss India UK, has previously supported street schools and orphanages in Mumbai.

Puja, 31, who lives in Queensbury, Harrow, will be working with the charity Hope Agency in a remote area of the country, several hours drive from the capital Phnom Penh.

It’s a far cry from her modelling work for magazines, such as Asiana and Asian Bride with temperatures in Cambodia reaching 35C.

Puja said: “I will be based in a local village working alongside pupils and parents helping and educating them about the importance of oral hygiene.

“It’s estimated that one-in-five 12 year-olds in rural Cambodia have never brushed their teeth and the habit of chewing betel nut is one of the main causes of mouth cancer.”

Puja will be taking several hundred tooth brushes and tubes of tooth paste which she bought herself along with the help of local businesses and donations from work colleagues in the hospital.

She will also be highlighting the impact of sugar intake, healthy snacking, the importance of regular brushing and the links between gum disease and heart disease.

Puja, whose previous charity work included raising £1,700 for MIND by jumping out of an aeroplane, will also be helping work in the rice fields and gardens, teaching English and sharing her love of drama and music skills which includes playing the drums.

She added: “It has been one of my life-long passions to travel abroad and help those that are less fortunate and I would like to thank everyone  who has made a donation and supported me.”