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Photos reveal hardship of nursing in war-torn African republic

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A two-week photography exhibition highlighting the hardships of being a health worker in the Central African Republic opened this week in London.

Through the stories of nurse supervisor Olga Yetikoua and former a patient the exhibition illustrates the problems of working in a health system wrecked by decades of conflict and violence.

Ms Yetikoua, a nurse supervisor working for international aid charity Merlin in a remote part of the CAR said: ‘I’ve spent most of my professional life in Bangui, the capital, cushioned against reality. Coming here I realised just how neglected our health services, health workers, are.’

The free public exhibition, featuring work by Africa-based Panos photographer Frederic Courbet, is being held at St Bride’s Church in Fleet Street, London.

Carolyn Miller, chief executive of Merlin said: ‘No community, let alone country, can hope to achieve social and economic development without enough skilled and motivated health workers.’

Some of the photos helped launch Merlin’s Hands Up for Health Workers campaign last November, a campaign highlighting the global shortage of four million doctors, nurses and midwifes, calling for vital training funding for health workers.

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