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Not One, Not Even One cover


Categories:
Keywords:

nursing overseas, health West Africa, neonatal tetanus, maternal death rate, midwife training, International medicine, Sierra Leone

Not One, Not Even One
A Memoir of Life-altering Experiences in Sierra Leone, West Africa
by Nancy Christine Edwards




In 1978, Nancy Edwards left as a CUSO volunteer for Sierra Leone, where she spent three years working as a community health nurse and two years evaluating primary health care programs. Her stories of village life convey the ravages of tuberculosis; threats of witchcraft; and tragedies of deaths related to pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn tetanus. She celebrates local advocates for health improvements—mothers, traditional birth attendants, and village health committees.

Acutely aware of her role as a cultural outsider, the author reveals how she learned about the power of ancestors and the women’s Secret Society among the Mende people. Four decades after her arrival in Sierra Leone, Edwards comes to grips with her stance on the cultural practice of female circumcision. She takes us behind-the-scenes, describing how her West African experiences shaped her life and research career.

Though steeped in hardship, tension, and conflict, Not One, Not Even One is buffered by humour, heartened by breakthroughs and shifting perspectives, and propelled by fierce hopes for the future.


“. . . This eminently readable memoir records a rich tapestry of the village life Nancy Edwards experienced . . . Evocative turns of phrase . . . attest to an observant eye and a compassionate heart. The moral fibre and deep humanity of the author stand out."

—Gary Warner, Professor Emeritus, McMaster University

“. . . engaging, humorous and meaningful . . . Honest and thoughtful reflections. Should be required reading for public and population health programs. A must read for book clubs with lots of issues for discussion . . . A source of inspiration."

—Barbara Davies, Professor Emerita, University of Ottawa

"Nancy has succeeded in bringing me back to Sierra Leone with all the sights, sounds, smells, learning, and stories that this country provided us. … This book will appeal both to those who know (and love) Sierra Leone and to those wanting to understand and contribute to global health."

—Michael Clarke, PhD. Adjunct Professor (Public Health), Western University, London, Ontario. (CUSO Sierra Leone 1973-1976)


Nancy Christine Edwards photo

Nancy Edwards is a nurse and epidemiologist who worked in the field of global health and development for forty years. She is a Distinguished Professor and Professor Emerita at the University of Ottawa and the recipient of numerous awards including three honorary doctoral degrees. Nancy is an avid photographer and enjoys the outdoors while biking and cross-country skiing. She lives in Ottawa.


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Nancy Christine Edwards

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