Two nurse colleagues from Altnagelvin are busy fund raising and planning for a three-week mercy mission to Ghana.
Leann Allen and Emma-Louise Donnelly are colleagues on Ward 20, general medical, where they specialise in renal and cardiology nursing.
The pair are planning to spend their time helping at the medial centre in Takoradi in Ghana and will leave Northern Ireland on March 28 to work in a completely voluntary capacity as nurses.
The area they are going to is stretched thin in terms of resources and facilities, and as part of their visit, both women hope to send a consignment of medical provisions, but need help to pay for the load’s transit.
Leann and Emma-Louise are making the journey under the umbrella of Agape Volunteers, which is a registered charity that provides humanitarian aid and support to Africa and India specifically through volunteering programmes and donations. The aim of organisation is to make sure volunteers have access to affordable programmes where their time, energy and funds are used to create real an sustainable development in underprivileged communities, and those who volunteer are valued as they help to make up for the lack of essential personnel in areas just like Takoradi.
Asked what lay behind their decision, Emma-Louise said: “I researched it after university. I wanted to see another part of the world and to see how health care is provided in stricken areas. I always wanted to do this kind of voluntary work.”
Leann added: “We both looked into it. There are different voluntary organisations, so we researched it to see which one we thought was best and we decided on Agape Volunteers. They specialise in sending student doctors and nurses out to different parts of Africa.
“We had a choice of Kenya, Ghana and Romania and we chose Ghana and Ghana was recommended to us, so we chose to go there,” she said.
Takoradi is located in Western Ghana, where cost, distance and lack of education means patients regularly present at with illness or disease that is at a critical stage because of lack of treatment.