Nurse shows mercy

Cockburn Gazette - - STREET WATCH -

SARAH Sim has two big loves: trav­el­ling and help­ing peo­ple.

So it was an easy de­ci­sion for the Fre­man­tle nurse to com­bine th­ese pas­sions, vol­un­teer­ing for a stint on a mercy ship in Africa.

The Africa Mercy has been in Cameroon since Au­gust, with more than 400 vol­un­teers on board giv­ing free surgery, health care and de­vel­op­ment aid to the coun­try’s poor.

Ms Sim said it was not un­til she saw a doc­u­men­tary on TV that she de­cided she wanted to help out aboard one of the world’s big­gest hos­pi­tal ships.

“Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing new cul­tures has in­flu­enced me to see a lot of the world, es­pe­cially de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, which has given me some in­valu­able in­sight into the health dis­par­i­ties through­out the world,” she said.

“I have al­ways felt very lucky and grate­ful for the life­style, health care and liv­ing con­di­tions we have in Aus­tralia and feel that it’s vi­tal that we don’t be­come im­mune to the global health in­equities and poverty.

“Many pa­tients com­ing to Mercy ships have ex­tremely chal­leng­ing lives and lack of ac­cess to ap­pro­pri­ate med­i­cal care and treat­ment is one of the main press­ing is­sues.

“We have had a few pre­sen­ta­tions where they have been found to have un­der­ly­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions which ex­clude them from be­ing able to have surgery, or con­di­tions which de­lay their surgery, such as test­ing pos­i­tive to HIV or malaria.”

Visit www.mer­cy­

Sarah Sim be­side the African Mercy in Cameroon.

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