Trafford nurse honoured for work in disaster zone

Jon receiving his certificate from the hospital's director.

Jon receiving his certificate from the hospital's director.

First published in News Messenger Newspapers: Photograph of the Author by , Arts Reporter

A TRAFFORD nurse who experienced the devastation caused by “horrific” floods in Cambodia has been honoured by health chiefs there.

Jon Sheard, from Ashton-on-Mersey, recently received a certificate for his outstanding contribution and achievements at Preah Net Preah Referal Hospital and Sray Clinic Health Centre.

The 31-year-old, who is originally from Urmston, is coming home in March after spending more than two and a half years on a Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) placement.

He said reducing infection - a potential killer - has been a top priority, Jon added: “It’s hard to imagine what it was like before, but all the waste was thrown into an open pit in the hospital grounds next to a school thoroughfare. I was able to work with the hospital team and get funding to make a purpose built fenced off area and generate cash for an incinerator to dispose of waste properly.”

He said the experience has given him an appetite to work in another developing country but added there have been highs and lows.

Jon, who used to work at Trafford General Hospital said: “I have enjoyed my time hugely, seeing a change in the way the hospital operates has been an amazing achievement. Kids and adults dying on a daily basis due to a lack of medicines and delayed admission is something I will never fully understand.”

Jon has been living in the country’s Banteay Meanchey Province and said when the floods struck the “very poor farmers” who form the majority of the population lost six months of their rice crop. This left them without food or an income and Jon described the devastation caused by the 2011 floods as catastrophic.

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