Winchester student nurse builds new health centre in Ghana

Basingstoke Gazette: Caroline Edmunds has recently returned from her mission in Africa funded by a scholarship awarded by a national charity. Caroline Edmunds has recently returned from her mission in Africa funded by a scholarship awarded by a national charity.

A STUDENT nurse from Winchester has been doing her bit and has helped to create a brand new medical centre in Ghana.

Caroline Edmunds, a third year adult and mental health nursing student at the University of Southampton, has recently returned from her mission in Africa funded by a scholarship awarded by a national charity.

The 40-year-old mother of three, from Harestock in Winchester, was judged the winner of the Community Award which came with a prize of a travel scholarship worth £1,500.

Ms Edmunds was one of 22 nursing and midwifery students shortlisted for five scholarship awards run by the nursing charity Cavell Nurses' Trust.

The charity helps former and current nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in financial hardship.

Caroline, a former police officer of 13 years, said: "We started work at a functioning but dilapidated and unfit for purpose health centre which serves hundreds of people in this very rural area.

"We were faced with what, in essence, was a workshop-garage with rooms off which served as treatment and storage rooms with one slightly better area serving as a labour ward.

"The centre welcomed children and adults daily from miles around suffering with malaria and diarrhoea and vomiting, and also for women to have their babies in an environment which in most cases is far better than the conditions they endure at home."

"I learned a great deal about the value and worth of our NHS. Never again will I complain about waiting in A&E or that I can't get a GP appointment when it suits me!"

Caroline spent three weeks renovating the dilapidated medical centre in Bomfa with fellow Southampton students, filling in cracks, painting, installing fans and lighting and much-needed mosquito nets at the windows.

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