Come and hear Nurse Lillian Cingo Pioneer of South Africa's health train

Mary Zacaroli's picture

Award-winning nurse Lillian Cingo, who pioneered South Africa's health train is speaking at the Long Room in the Town Hall, Oxford at around 3.30pm on Saturday, 3rd March. This is as part of Oxford Women's International Festival and can be booked through The event runs from 2-5pm and is free.

When Lillian Cingo retired from managing the neurosurgical unit at London’s Royal Free Hospital, she had every reason to put her feet up. Her back was wrecked from over three decades of nursing, during which she had reached the top of her profession, winning awards in both her native South Africa and in Britain.

Instead, she chose to spend 13 years living on a train, sleeping in a bed so narrow that she had to wake up every time she turned over. Millions of South Africans have reason to be grateful for that decision. The train was South Africa’s Phelophepa (‘good clean health’) train, which set out in 1994, with Lillian as its manager, to bring health services to remote rural communities.

Lillian has been involved with Initiatives of Change and Creators of Peace. Photo source: and

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