Volunteer Report

Elizabeth Byrne reports on her volunteer work in Ghana while six UCC students make final preparations for Tanzanian mission.


Elizabeth Byrne pictured with Sr Lydia Yaboa and staff of St Joseph's Hospital, Nkwanta.

Report from Elizabeth Byrne

I am at present doing some volunteer work nursing in St Joseph's Hospital, Nkwanta, Ghana. I arrived here a little over two weeks ago so I am still settling-in. I will be here for three months.

So far my experience has been very different from that of home. I am working in the hospital’s Emergency Department/Outpatient’s Department where both adults and children with various medical problems are seen in the one department.

I am a bit out of my comfort zone especially dealing with children as I normally work in the Adult Emergency Department  at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin. The staff are very friendly, helpful and willing to teach me. They deal with many health problems such as malaria, tropical and infectious diseases, malnutrition and accidents. The staff work in difficult surroundings and, in many cases, without basic equipment and resources which we take for granted back home. Doctors and nurses must rely on medical knowledge and sound clinical diagnosis to treat patients.

It has been difficult to see some people pass away - especially when I know they would probably have been saved in the Irish healthcare system. These people seem to be so accepting of their situation. On a brighter note they are happy with their lot. I find everyone I meet to be friendly and very thankful for whatever we do for them. There are no complaints about Accident and Emergency waiting times here!

With about two and a half months left here I hope I can continue to make a difference.

I would like to thank the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles  for the opportunity to work here but I wish God would turn the temperatures down a little!


Meanwhile UCC volunteer prepare for Tanzanian mission

Six volunteers are making final preparations for their upcoming summer placement in northern Tanzania, East Africa. A volunteer orientation day, led by Sr Mary Usifoh, took place in Ardfoyle on April 13th. The volunteers are all medical students and members of the Surgeon Noonan Society at University College Cork. Over the years, many students from the Surgeon Noonan Society have volunteered in OLA mission areas across Africa. The students will volunteers their time and skills in the health clinics of Bugisi and Mwamapalala.