A Lewisham and Greenwich NHS neurologist is urging the public to back a charity which enables doctors to help patients abroad through a smartphone app.

Graziella Quattrocchi volunteers for the Virtual Doctors charity, which needs urgent help to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in Zambia.

Now Dr Quattrocchi, who comes from Italy, is warning urgent help is needed to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in Zambia, asking the public to support the Virtual Doctors COVID-19 response fund.

Dr Quattrocchi said: "I moved to the UK from Italy six years ago, and I have had the opportunity to work in rural communities of Bolivia and to volunteer with the homeless in Paris.

"On these occasions, I have witnessed the great inequalities in healthcare systems across the globe.

"At the same time, I have seen the difficulties in providing continuous support where it was needed. This was frustrating.

"Then I discovered the Virtual Doctors. I am a volunteer for the charity and have been part of the medical team for about one year."

The charity works with more than 130 NHS doctors.

Using a smartphone app, the doctors offer advice to isolated health centres in rural Zambia.

UK medics help diagnose conditions, treat patients and prescribe medicine.

Dr Quattrocchi said: "The aim is to provide clinical support and teaching at the same time.

"I have had many interesting referrals and have been struck by the diagnostic and treatment gap between countries.

"One of my first referrals was a child with new onset gait instability. The clinical officer sent me a video and, while suspecting a possible cerebellar tumour, I felt powerless.

"Yes, the child could be sent to a hospital but could he receive the necessary treatment?

"On the other hand, many cases have been successful and our support, in some cases, has saved lives."

She said with Covid 19, providing clean water and soap to rural clinics in Zambia and Malawi is a priority.

"This is a pandemic and stopping the spreading in other countries will help everyone.

"For once the world shares the same problem and the world united can fight it. No country should be left behind."

Virtual Doctors Chairman Graham Precey is hopeful the public will support the appeal.

He said: "Since 2010, we have been working with the Zambian Ministry of Health and more recently in Malawi.

"We need to work quickly and efficiently using our proven technology to fight Covid 19.

"We hope many people will join us by contributing to our fund, set up with an initial £10,000 from our Board."

To make a donation, simple go to: www.cafdonate.cafonline.org/12801#!/DonationDetails