Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The two midwives of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), Hauwa Liman and Saifura Hussaini, who were killed by Boko Haram, have been posthumously awarded the Florence Nightingale medals.
Florence Nightingale medal is the highest international award in the nursing profession, awarded to distinguished nurses.
Both Hauwa and Saifura, were part of the 29 nurses from 19 countries awarded the medal, which recipients were nominated by their respective National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society and selected by a commission comprised of the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Council of Nurses.
Presenting the medal to the families of the slain midwives in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, the President of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Chief Akpan Anani, who was assisted by the Head of Delegation of the ICRC, Mr Eloi Fillion, said it remained the highest international distinction in the nursing profession.
He said it was being awarded posthumously to Ms Hauwa Liman and Ms Saifura Hussaini
Maiduguri, both of the ICRC, with their parents receiving the Florence Nightingale medals for the contribution of their daughters to humanity.
The two midwives were abducted in Rann in March 2018, 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.
Only a tiny number of midwives were offering vital services to more than 80,000 people in the place.
According to Anani the award immortalises the outstanding contribution and ultimate sacrifice in serving humanity of the two midwives.
He said since 1912, there is no higher international honour in the nursing profession.
“Florence Nightingale is considered as the founder of modern day nursing and 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.”
“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,” he explained.