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A professor of nursing at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, LaRocco was traveling to Liberia and Guinea to complete a project she had organized to deliver nursing textbooks to the West African school.
"In the 'central supply' area, we saw this woman cheerfully washing gloves," LaRocco recalls. "She didn't seem distressed by the lack of resources. It made me think about all that we have in the United States and how fortunate we are to have the care that we do."
In the Ganta Mission Station and Hospital, which houses the nursing school, Quigley says he found the deprivation "astounding." He adds: "This hospital is supported by a church in the United States, yet it had no oxygen. And Liberia's long civil war destroyed the country's electrical grid. Most Americans cannot imagine a hospital that doesn't even have electricity at night. But although there's a generator, it's too costly to run 24 hours a day. At night, the nurses use oil lamps as they make their rounds."
© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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