A RECORD four Australian Red Cross aid workers have been awarded Florence Nightingale Medals this year, the highest international distinction a nurse can receive.
“The Florence Nightingale Medals awarded to our Red Cross aid workers – Elizabeth Bowell, Nola Henry, Amanda McClelland and Kerry Page – honour exceptional courage and devotion to the victims of armed conflict or natural disaster,” said Peter Walton, Head of International Programs, Australian Red Cross.
“This medal also recognises exemplary services or a creative and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education.
“Our Australian nurses have played a critical role in responding to some of the world’s biggest emergencies.
“From Sierra Leone to Syria, Liberia to Lebanon, they have cared for patients with Ebola, treated horrific injuries from weapons, and saved lives with education on hygiene and disease prevention. They’re colleagues and mentors to local health workers, working under difficult and often dangerous conditions.”
“Ebola is on the retreat, with Liberia being declared Ebola free just days ago. The number of people infected in both Sierra Leone and Guinea is down to single figures. This year I also want to recognise all nurses from every country who joined the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Some of them did so at the cost of their own lives, showing courage and compassion that humbles us all,” Mr Walton Said.
Amanda McClelland is a senior health advisor whose most recent work involved leading the Red Cross response to the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. She also helped develop new tools to rapidly collect information in health emergencies.
Libby Bowell is an outstanding advocate for the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. Her work has ranged from responding to cholera outbreaks in South Sudan, to disaster relief after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Most recently, Libby’s public health work helped contain the spread of Ebola in Liberia.
Kerry Page and Nola Henry have both served with the International Committee of the Red Cross in South Sudan. Both worked as part of mobile surgical teams that provide emergency care to people wounded in armed combat.
Recipients for the Florence Nightingale award are selected by the International Council of Nurses, International Committee the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Source: Red Cross Australia
Image Source: Libby Bowell, nurse and Red Cross aid worker & Florence Nightingale Medal recipient (ABC Online).