A MEON Valley woman has told of the “incredible challenges” she faces daily while serving as an army nurse in South Sudan.

Captain Biz Baranda, from Bishop’s Waltham, is running the intensive care ward at a hospital as part of a United Nations operation.

Her role in South Sudan, the youngest country in the world, often sees her dealing with conditions you wouldn’t normal expect in a war, such as snake bites and tropical diseases.

She said: “It’s incredibly challenging. Temperatures on the ward commonly hit 38C, there is limited equipment, the re-supply chain is slow and when it rains we have to do our best to stop the hospital from flooding.

“The rain is torrential and like nothing I have seen before. It fills up the drainage ditches in minutes; wellies were certainly one of the most vital items on our packing list.”

However, she added that the downpours are also a blessing: “Every cloud has a silver lining and the rain brings a solution to our lack of water, as people adapt and overcome; showering outside when the storms hit, whilst also collecting water using ponchos.”

to fill up solar showers to use in times of shortages.”

Cpt Baranda is currently serving in the town of Bentiu as part of Operation TRENTON, the UK contribution to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

The small African county was only formed July 2011 after an independence referendum saw it split from Sudan, but the country has faced years of conflict since.

She said: “To be a nurse is always a privilege, however to do so to support the UN mandate here has been a profound experience.”

Cpt Baranda military also saw her serve in Afghanistan, during 2013, where she mainly dealt with trauma and surgery patients.

She due to return to UK next month.