Dubai: The first Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award went to Anna Qabale Duba, a Kenyan nurse.
Duma has worked tirelessly in her community to empower them with education and campaign against harmful cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutation.
At a grand ceremony held in Dubai to commemorate International Nurses Day today, nurse Duba, dressed in her traditional Kenyan robes, received the award from Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and group.
Duba, who took home a prize money of $250,000 (Dh919,500) was overwhelmed by the recognition. She said: “I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be acknowledged and celebrated in such a way. This is a win for Kenya, for Africa and the girls in the villages,” said Duba .
Duba, selected by an eminent grand jury from ten finalists, is the first woman graduate in her village. She has dedicated her life towards literacy and serving the masses through the Qabale Duba Foundation. She thanked her mother and husband for their unconditional support. Today also happened to be her wedding anniversary.
The award received nominations of 24,000 nurses from all over the world. Launched in 2021, by Aster DM Healthcare, Aster Guardian International Nursing Award was initiated to acknowledge the unflinching humanitarian care extended by nurses worldwide.
The other nine finalists also received monetary prizes at the event. The other nine finalists also received monetary prizes at the event.
Nine finalists recognised
The other nine finalists also received a sum of US$5000 each . They included: Dida Jirma Bulle, male nurse from Kenya; Francis Michael Fernando, Fillipino male nurse from United Kingdom; Jasmine Mohammad Sharaf’, Indian expatriate nurse from UAE; Julia Dorothy Downing from UK, Lincy Joseph and Manju Dhandapani from India, Mathew James Ball from Australia, Rachel Abraham Joseph, Indian origin nurse from US, and Waris Mohammad Qarani, male nurse from Afghanistan.
Why nurses are awarded
Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman , Founder of Aster Group, explained about why he decided to initiate this international award. “Soon after the pandemic, when I was talking to a nurse, trying to find out if she was happy at Aster, her words impressed me. She said, ‘nurses are like curry leaves to food. We lend the essential flavour, but have no recognition beyond that’.”
Heart and soul of healthcare
Dr Moopen added: “I think nurses are the most underpaid and overworked group in health care field. If doctors are the brain of health care, nurses are the heart and soul of health care. Together over 27 million men and women work as nurses worldwide and are nearly 50 per cent of the work force in health care . Yet, they are paid 1/10 of the salary paid to doctors.” Dr Moopen said that said it is hightime to acknowledges and celebrate the contribution of nurses worldwide .
Dire shortage of nurses
“We must work towards ensuring that no nurse is underpaid and overworked. It is estimated that, currently, there is a shortage of nearly 6.5 million nurses worldwide which is estimated to rise to 12.5 million in near future. Recognition and appreciation will ensure more youngsters come forward to join this noble profession.”
Addressing the award ceremony remotely, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation , conveyed his best wishes to international nursing workforce on occasion of the International Nurses Day. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world witnessed the tremendous contribution of nurses . Our appreciation of nurses has to go beyond applause .”
Dignitaries who attended the event included Awadh Saghayer Al Ketbi , Director General of Dubai Health Authority ( DHA); Dr Ameen Al Ameeri , Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health and Prevention and Dr Aman Puri, Indian Counsul General in Dubai, among others