Two Nigerian midwives, Ms. Hauwa Liman and Ms. Saifura Hussaini, have been honoured posthumously with the highest international distinction in the nursing profession by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The duo of Liman and Hussaini were abducted in Rann, March last year, where they were working as midwives for the ICRC. At that time, Rann had been badly hit by the armed conflict, and only three health care centres were operational, with a tiny number of midwives offering vital services to more than 80,000 people.
The Florence Nightingale medals were received by the deceased’s parents in a ceremony led by the president of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Elder Bolaji Akpan Anani, and the head of delegation of the ICRC, Mr Eloi Fillion.
The award immortalises the deceased’s outstanding contribution and ultimate sacrifice in serving humanity. “The devotion of Ms Hauwa Liman and Saifura Hussaini to their people, for whom they gave their lives, has profoundly moved thousands of people around the world and deeply impacted the International Committee of the Red Cross as well as the people the organisation assists,” ICRC said.
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Since 1912, the Florence Nightingale medal has remained the highest international honour in the nursing profession, recognising exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster. This year, 29 outstanding nurses from 19 countries were awarded the prestigious honour. Recipients were nominated by their respective National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society and selected by a commission, consisting the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Council of Nurses. Florence Nightingale is considered as the founder of modern day nursing. She helped victims of war in the 19th Century. In recognition of her pioneering work in nursing, the Nightingale pledge is taken by new nurses, and the annual International Nurses Day is also celebrated on her birthday.
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