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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Southampton nursing students to improve healthcare facilities in Ghana

Published: 14 September 2012

Nursing students from the University of Southampton will travel to Ghana next summer to help renovate a much needed rural health dispensary, which will give many people access to improved healthcare.

About 25 first, second and third year Faculty of Health Sciences students, along with University academics, will be raising funds and donating their time in support of AMECA (Alex's Medical and Education Clinic in Africa).

The charity is also giving an additional six student Elective Bursary Awards of £1,000 each to support the University's Health Sciences students in undertaking professional development experiences in Africa as part of their programme.  Southampton is only the second university to be offered these bursaries by AMECA.

Students joining the Ghanaian challenge will gain a deeper and more rounded understanding of the healthcare challenges and poverty faced by rural Ghanaians and will also be taught basic construction skills such as how to make bricks, paint and plaster.

Camping close to the health dispensary, students will engage in rural Ghanaian living and interact with the clinical staff and patients at the dispensary.  It is hoped the learning experience will be profound and will bring significant benefits to the students' professional and personal development.

Caroline Edmunds is a mature student currently in year two of her four-year dual adult and mental health degree. She will be going to Ghana next summer and comments: "I hope the trip is going to broaden my outlook on nursing and further my understanding of what other countries face.  I want to challenge my perceptions of healthcare and I think it will make me appreciate even more the provision we have in our own country."

Sue Faulds, programme lead for Bachelor of Nursing and Masters in Nursing Studies at the University of Southampton, comments: "We have wanted to work with a charity like AMECA for some time, with the intention of developing a meaningful on-going relationship to help further develop our students' skills and knowledge of healthcare in developing countries.

"Working with AMECA is an amazing opportunity for our nursing undergraduates to improve the lives of rural Ghanaians and gain a vital understanding of healthcare on a more global scale; the University of Southampton seeks to enable its graduates to be global citizens and this will certainly help these students to achieve this aim."

Founder of AMECA, Ruth Markus adds: "We are absolutely thrilled to be working alongside such a prestigious university with an excellent reputation for nursing and look forward to a long and active relationship.  Renovating this health dispensary will be a project which we have wanted to realise for a long while.

"We strongly believe that by providing better facilities, the dispensary will attract well qualified staff, provide opportunity for further training and implement community health education at a grass roots level."

The challenge itself is run through Really Wild, a professional challenge event organiser, which is facilitating the student's trip and helping them to raise the necessary funding.

To make a donation to the University students visit their fundraising page.

Notes for editors


AMECA was founded in December 2006 by Ruth Markus in memory of her only child Lt. Alex Coutselos, a doctor in the British Army, who died on 15th October 2006, aged 23.

AMECA aims to fulfil Alex's aspiration to improve access to healthcare in Africa and his wish to promote the practice of medicine in rural African locations.

Typically sub-Saharan African countries suffer from a severe lack of healthcare facilities, healthcare professionals, equipment and drugs. This is exacerbated by either non-existent or unaffordable transport to the nearest urban health facility.

The AMECA Trust is committed to the delivery of healthcare, training of healthcare professionals and to healthcare education in sub-Saharan African countries through sustainable initiatives.

Really Wild

The Really Wild brand was founded in 2008 in response to a growing demand from charities for a professional challenge event organiser with low prices and an understanding of the needs of both challenge event participants and the charities for which it is fundraising.

From humble beginnings in a small office in East Africa Really Wild has quickly grown into one of the most popular global providers of overseas challenges. It now has over ninety partners around the world and is committed to supporting local economies by never outsourcing local business to foreign third parties.

The University of Southampton

The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship across a wide range of subjects in engineering, science, social sciences, health and humanities.

With over 23,000 students, around 5000 staff, and an annual turnover well in excess of £435 million, the University of Southampton is acknowledged as one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine. We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.

The University is also home to a number of world-leading research centres including the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Web Science Trust and Doctoral training Centre, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute and is a partner of the National Oceanography Centre at the Southampton waterfront campus.

For further information contact:

Becky Attwood , Media Relations, University of Southampton, Tel: 023 8059 5457, email:

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