Nigerian nurses on top 100 Global List for groundbreaking work

Four Nigerian women have been named among 100 Outstanding Women Nurses and Midwives Leaders by the Women in Global Health.

They were named as part of activities to mark the 2020 International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

A statement by the WGH and YONM named the four Nigerian women as Mary Ozuruonye Agholor, Edidiong Asanga, Emmanualla Inah, and Onyinyechi Susan Madu.

The statement explained that the 100 women were chosen for “their everyday heroism and service”, amidst the global health challenges.

“During the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, amidst a global pandemic, the courageous work of Nurses and Midwives deserves, more than ever, to be honored–not just by applause. Let us use the stories of their everyday heroism and service to call for all countries to invest in decent work and a new social contract for nurses and midwives as part of their commitment to health for all,” it explained.

According to the statement, “Despite shortages of Personal Protective Equipments, a lack of support and crippling uncertainty, these women represent millions more Nurses and Midwives on the frontlines of patient care, providing solutions, every day, to people around the globe.”

The organisations said Agholor, born and bred in Ile-Ife, Osun State by Delta State parents, was the first Nigerian Nurse to become a broadcaster as she founded the Nightingale Radio as a platform for Nurses to speak out and express themselves and serve as an information hub for Nurses and Nursing bodies such as the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives.

The statement said, “The station has become a rallying point and voice of Nurses in Nigeria. As a public health nurse with a passion for public speaking and broadcasting, Agholor’s daily work routine involves creating health awareness, preventive medicine advocacy, and increasing the availability of health information.

“She uses public speaking and broadcast media as tools to facilitate public health education through health shows on the radio. Recently, Agholor has been involved in the dissemination and propagation of information about COVID – 19 primarily through Florence Nightingale Radio.

“She additionally gives weekly presentations on another radio station, Living proof Radio, to reach out and educate the population on COVID-19. Agholor paired her nursing skills with her understanding of media to produce jingles about COVID-19 prevention and control which are being aired on three different media houses.

“The jingles focus on the need for constant and consistent handwashing with soap and water, frequent use of hand sanitizer, proper use of facemasks, and physical distancing.”

According to WGH and YONM, Asanga was the first and only Nurse/Midwife in Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria who employs the use of American Sign Language and Nigeria Sign Language for the care of hearing-impaired patients.

The statement said, “Previously Asanga has been a Surgical Nurse, Midwife, and even legislative intern carrying out health policy analyses. She is a highly experienced and sensitive Nurse-Midwife with an exceptional record of providing stellar medical and emotional services to all kinds of patients.

“Adept at functioning well in a high-pressure work environment, Asanga currently trains other Nurses on ASL and NSL to care for these clients wherever they may be found. She is raising a diverse health workforce and promoting a healthcare inclusive system. She currently works as a school healthcare Nurse at a special education centre.”

Inah, a practicing registered Nurse and Midwife was named because during the course of her Midwifery training, the school-sponsored trips to rural villages where none of them spoke the native language or understood their culture, practices, and beliefs.

“However, they found a way of communicating and relating to the community through the language of West African pidgin. There, Emmanuella and her team created awareness about practices that promoted postpartum hemorrhage, which was the leading cause of death in the community. They organized educational health seminars in village halls, community playgrounds, and the chief’s compounds”, WGH and YONM said.

She is about launching her first book, entitled: “The Preggy Workbook”, containing a detailed guide on the trimesters of pregnancy, pregnancy myths, and how to enjoy the journey.

Madu was named “community hero” because her dedication has deeply impacted the local midwifery nursing community, as well as the broader global health ecosystem.

“She has participated extensively in research and community care work that has positively impacted the lives of the poor and underprivileged in rural communities of Imo State, Nigeria”, the statement said.

Madu was also said to have contributed regularly to courses, healthcare, and movements at the grassroots level to improve access to quality healthcare through extensive research and intervention schemes.

“As a Nursing Officer at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi State, Nigeria, she has been involved with the Cholera Treatment Centre to create awareness and carry out research on the 2014 cholera outbreak”, WGH and YONM stated.

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