BEING part of a United Nations’ peacekeeping force is a first for experienced army medic Major Ruth Black.
The 48-year-old, from Lee-on-the-Solent, is among the 50 heading to South Sudan tomorrow, the first deployment of its kind for the Gosport-based unit.
A former emergency department nurse at Queen Alexandra Hospital, her role will see her heading up the unit’s own emergency department in South Sudan.
The mother-of-three said: ‘The team is absolutely ready for this. They have all been trained to within an inch of their lives.
‘My girls and boys are amazing. They couldn’t be more prepared. This is a unique experience for everybody. They’re a bright bunch of people who are willing to work head.’
As a unit, they are out there supporting UN soldiers.
By doing this, Maj Black hopes she will be able to keep UN soldiers and engineers in good health, allowing them to work for longer periods of time on complex projects.
‘It will be really good to think that you have made some contribution,’ she added.
‘Everything is done in small steps, we know we’re not going to change the world immediately.
‘But if we can support engineers build a jetty that will allow goods to be transported all year round, not just in the dry season.
‘We’re hoping this will bring some stability.’
Maj Black added that the main roles her team would be tackling would see them treating infectious diseases, trying to prevent outbreaks, and treating injuries.