Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award announces its top 10 finalists hailing from across the world for its coveted $250,000 award.

Dubai: Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award has announced its top 10 finalists hailing from across the world for its coveted $250,000 award.

The finalists have been selected from over 24,000 nurses who applied from over 184 countries, through a stringent review process run independently by Ernst & Young LLP, a screening-Jury and a Grand Jury. All applications were evaluated to create a shortlist of 181 which underwent further review to put forward 41 top applications. These 41 applications were then reviewed by the Grand Jury to announce the top 10 finalists. All applicant nurses were asked to submit their applications based on four areas of contribution: Leadership, Research/Innovation, Patient Care and Society/Community Service.

The coveted reward

The top 10 finalists will be recognised and honoured for their work at the upcoming award ceremony to be held on May 12 in Dubai, marking the International Nurses Day, to be organised under the aegis of Aster Guardians. While one winner will be awarded the grand prize of $250,000, the other nine finalists will also receive a monetary award. The final round will consist of public voting for each of the nurses starting from April 26 and in-person interview with the Grand Jury members.

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Meet the top 10 nurses

1- Anna Qabale Duba, Kenya

Anna Qabale Duba, the founder of Qabale Duba Foundation in Kenya has been championing against harmful cultural practices against women like female genital mutilation and early/forced marriage, alongside empowering women through education, implementing peace-building activities, and advocating for girl-child education. She has been recognized as the Top 100 most influential young Africans in 2020.

2- Dida Jirma Bulle, Kenya

With over 21 years of experience of working as a nurse with Ministry of Health, Kenya, Dida volunteered on behalf of the Kenyan Government to fight the deadly Ebola Outbreak in West Africa in 2015. Dida Jirma has been awarded as one of the recipients of the ‘Head of State Commendation’ by the president of Kenya for his exemplary service to humanity.

3 Francis Michael Fernando, United Kingdom – In 2020, Francis founded the Filipino Nurses Association which is the second largest international nursing group in the UK. In 2012, he won the prestigious NHS Clinical Leaders Network and Aqua Henderson Quality Award for his work with patients with hip fractures in Salisbury.

4 Jasmine Mohammed Sharaf, United Arab Emirates

Jasmine from India is a nurse working with Dubai Health Authority, who actively focuses on community health. During the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jasmine realised that the low-income workers in Dubai were not completely aware of the virus and were unable to get the right treatment done in case of any symptoms. Jasmine came out in support of these people and helped a lot of lives on a personal level. She has visited some of her patient’s homes and even drove them to the hospital in case of emergencies. When she saw that many of them were unable to afford food, she distributed food kits with the help of a few associations.

5 Julia Dorothy Downing, United Kingdom

Julia looks at nursing as an opportunity to lead, empower and equip the people. An experienced palliative care nurse, educationist and researcher, with a PhD that evaluated palliative care training in rural Uganda, she has been working within palliative care for almost 3 decades, working internationally in Uganda, Africa, Eastern Europe and throughout the world developing palliative care services for adults and children

6- Lincy Padicala Joseph, India

With over 30 years of experience, Lincy strongly believes that nurses are leaders who can uplift the society and assure goodwill for the community health. She has been a recipient of many awards in India, such as National Florence Nightingale Nurses award, Kerala State Nursing Award, etc. Lincy is also the ambassador of plastic-free mala Panchayat and led climate awareness campaigns in her state.

7- Manju Dhandapani, India

Manju Dhandapani is a faculty at National Institute of Nursing Education, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India and is a member of Secretary, Society of Indian Neuroscience Nurses. She has been the recipient of awards such as the Society of Indian Neuroscience Nurse’s “Best Neuro Nurse Award”, PGIMER’s “Best Publication Award”, and has regularly received the title of “Best Paper” during academic conferences.

8- Matthew James Ball, Australia

Matthew comes with a remarkable life story that has led him to become a mental health nurse. A Nurse Practitioner and Psychotherapist, Matthew was born in the UK but has lived in Australia for over 20 years. At the age of 20, he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital following a period of homelessness and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.

9- Rachel Abraham Joseph, United States

With over 40 years of experience in over three continents, Rachel has several stories to tell. Rachel has led ‘parents in touch program’ to support parents of NICU babies in Nashville, US. During her career, Rachel has chaired and contributed committees, facilitated national programs successfully in Oman where she received the Best Nurse award.

10- Wais Mohammad Qarani, Afghanistan

Overcoming cultural barriers against the nursing profession in Afghanistan, Wais pursued a career in nursing and has been playing a vital role in strengthening the nursing and midwifery professions and advocates at different national and international forums. On 15th August 2021, when the Afghan government collapsed leading to immediate conflict, Wais decided to stay behind at the hospital to help patients and staff while many fled for safety.

7,000 nurses

Commenting on the award, Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare said, “With over 7000 nurses as the main pillar of our organization, we at Aster witness their commitment and compassion every single day. During this pandemic, their critical contribution with dedication and sacrifice, putting their own safety and lives at risk, was brought to the forefront globally. We thought that it is appropriate to institute a global level award for the nurses to recognise the members of this noble profession. With over 24,000 nurses who applied, we are overwhelmed by the response received from different parts of the world for the inaugural edition of Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award. It has been a hard task for the eminent Jury members to shortlist the top 10 extraordinary nurses from the large number of applicants. We wish the finalists nominated in the top 10 all the very best for the final evaluation process.”