[QODLink]
Witness
A Nurse's Tale
Lydia returns to Ghana after 15 months working as a nurse in the UK.
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2010 13:44 GMT

Filmmaker: Kim Hopkins

The traditional image of a nurse was born on the battlefields of the Crimean war 150 years ago.

Florence Nightingale, the lady with the lamp, epitomised self-sacrifice in providing care for the wounded and sick.

Nurses in the 21st century are still driven by the same motives, but, their own economic survival is as important as their patients' physical survival.

In Ghana, Lydia Kwashie is a highly trained midwife, but with a family of eight to support, she can barely make ends meet.

The 48 year old mother left behind family and friends in Ghana to seek work as a nurse in the UK.

And she is not the only one. Out of her class of 71 nursing graduates, more than half have left Ghana because conditions even in the best Ghanaian hospitals are dire.

Patients line the corridors on make-shift stretchers while their families have to forage for everything from drugs, to bandages and food.

Despite the difficulties settling in to a new culture, she returns to Ghana after 15 month with tales of independence and a decent salary.

Lydia feels a desire to return but until the government can offer similar protection for state workers in Ghana, her children's future demands that she earns a steady income in Europe.

Filmmaker Kim Hopkins followed Lydia on her first trip back home to Ghana to share the conflicting emotions of pride, joy, guilt and hope.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
A groundbreaking study from Johns Hopkins University shows that for big segments of the US population it is.
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
join our mailing list