Boko Haram: ICRC Honours Late Hauwa, Hussaini with Florence Nightingale Awards

Late Ms Hauwa Liman and Ms Saifura Hussaini

Martins Ifijeh

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has awarded posthumously, the highest distinction in nursing profession (Florence Nightingale Medals) to Ms Hauwa Liman and Ms Saifura Hussaini, who were killed by Boko Haram in Rann last year.

The President of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Chief Bolaji Akpan Anani and the Head of Delegation of the ICRC, Mr Eloi Fillion led the presentations which were received by the families of late Hauwa and Saifura in Maidiguri, Tuesday.

Hauwa and Saifura 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 healthcare centres were operational, with just a tiny number of midwives offering vital health services to more than 80,000 people. Hauwa and Saifura were part of the midwives.

Anani, at the presentation, said the award immortalises their outstanding contribution and ultimate sacrifice in serving humanity.

He said: “Since 1912, there is no higher international honour in the nursing profession. It recognises exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster.

“This year, 29 outstanding nurses from 19 countries have been awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal.

“The 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.”

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.

According to him, the devotion of Hauwa and Saifura to their people, for whom they gave their lives for, has profoundly moved thousands of people around the world and deeply impacted the ICRC, as well as the people the organisation assists.