A couple from Watford have given the contents of their dental practice, including a specialised X-ray machine, to a charity in Africa after donating them through a humanitarian match-making website.

Dr Colin Cook, a radiologist and his wife Brenda, a dental nurse, have run SD Radiology in St Albans Road for 10 years.

They are now retiring and wanted to find a good home for the scanner, which provides 3D images of the lower two thirds of the skull and is a specialist piece of equipment, not normally found in dental surgeries.

The husband and wife placed the offer of the device on the Global Hand website, which provides matches all over the world for donated goods through the internet.

An organisation in Cameroon, the Research Institute for Development, Communication and School Partnership, (RISCSP) spotted the scanner and immediately expressed an interest.

Someone from the charity went to pick up the device and the couple then also offered other equipment in the practice including desks, chairs, computers and even pens and rulers which are now all on their way to Africa.

Dr Cook said: "It is great that the scanner will be put to good use in an area of need. We are absolutely thrilled, it is a dream come true."

Ben Solanky, Global Hand UK Director, said: "There are so many people in need in the world and this match shows how easy it is for things that are no longer wanted here in Britain to really make a difference to people’s lives elsewhere.

"We believe that partnerships are very powerful to help a world in need."

Dr Cook said that the scanner would be a very rare piece of equipment in the Third World.

It was used in the practice for dental implant planning but would be of great use to oral surgeons in Cameroon who might be dealing with facial deformities such as cleft palates, he said.

The RIDCSP aims to meet the needs of local communities in Cameroon through education and research.

It focuses on promoting educating, research, communication and information technology, health, human rights, peace building and environmental protection.

For details visit http://www.globalhand.org/en