Lifestyle

Nurse home from Africa stint

Rinnah Fry with a happy African patient.
Rinnah Fry with a happy African patient. Ryan Chen

BUNDABERG nurse Rinnah Fry has just returned from a two-month stint as a volunteer serving on the world's biggest charity hospital ship moored in the western African nation of Togo.

Global charity Mercy Ships operates the 16,000-tonne Africa Mercy, which provides about 7000 free life-saving surgeries each year in some of the poorest and most undeveloped nations in the world.

Miss Fry, 32, responded to an urgent call for nurses for the Togo assignment.

"When that call came, I thought I would see if it was possible to get time off work. It all fell into place," she said.

It was not an entirely new experience for the Bundaberg Hospital nurse, who has 10 years experience behind her, having served with Mercy Ships in Liberia in 2006.

The fully-contained ship can moor off any country and operate like any modern hospital, with six operating rooms. The vessel is staffed by volunteer doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare professionals as well as 15 ex-British Army Gurkhas providing security.

"Volunteers come from all over the world including Canada, the United States, Germany, and New Zealand. There were about 26 Australians," Miss Fry said.

Volunteers must cover the cost of getting to the ship and pay $180 a week for food and accommodation.

Miss Fry said she would recommend the experience to others.

"Not only will it change someone's life, but you will be pleasantly surprised at how it will change you," she said.

"As I worked among patients, removing a dressing, giving medication, I always heard them singing.

"It was a common African song of praise: 'My God you are wonderful, my God you are excellent'."

Miss Fry said she cared for patients recovering from a range of different operations.

"I had to learn to work with translators and to cope with patients' care givers who slept under the hospital beds," she said.

"We are so privileged in Australia, and really don't have any idea of the desperation of so many Africans needing help."

Topics:  africa, charity, nurse




Teenager trapped in ute rollover south of Warwick

Emergency services were called about 9.30am.

UPDATE: Emergency crews are at the scene of a rollover.

Taxi driver injured after knifepoint robbery

DRIVER ATTACKED: Warwick taxi rank, where a driver picked up a teenager who held him up at knifepoint on Thursday night.

Camera footage will be the key to arresting an armed robber

Latest deals and offers

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles