From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Four Nigerians have been named among 100 outstanding women nurses and midwives leaders by the Women in Global Health (WGH), as part of activities to mark the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
The four Nigerian women are Mary Ozuruonye Agholor, Edidiong Asanga, Emmanualla Inah and Onyinyechi Susan Madu.
WGH in a statement posted on its website on Monday said the 100 women were chosen for heroism and service amidst the global health challenges.
The statement said: ‘The courageous work of these Nurses and Midwives deserves to be honored. Despite shortages of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), poor support and crippling uncertainty, these women represented millions more Nurses and Midwives on the frontlines of patient’s care, providing solutions to people globally.’
WGH said that 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 also serve as an information hub for Nurses and Nursing body, the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).
It added: ‘The station became a rallying point and voice of Nurses in Nigeria. As a public health nurse with a passion for public speaking and broadcasting, Agholor created health awareness, preventive medicine advocacy, and increased availability of health information.’
On Edidiong Asanga, WGH said she was the first and only Nurse/Midwife in Akwa Ibom State, who combined American and Nigerian sign languages for the care of hearing-impaired patients.
‘Asanga has been a surgical Nurse, Midwife, and even legislative intern carrying out health policy analysis. She’s highly experienced and sensitive Nurse-Midwife with an exceptional record of providing stellar medical and emotional services to all kinds of patients,’ it said.
On Emmanuel Inah, WGH said that as practicing Nurse and Midwife, the school sent few of them to rural villages where none of them could neither speak the native language nor understood the culture, practices and beliefs.
‘But they found a way of communicating and relating with the community through the language of West African pidgin. They created awareness about practices that promoted postpartum haemorrhage, which was the leading cause of death in the community. They organised educational health seminars in village halls, community playgrounds and the chief’s compounds,’ WGH said.
WGH said that Susan Madu was named ‘community hero’ because her dedication deeply impacted the local midwifery nursing community, as well as the broader global health ecosystem.
‘She participated extensively in research and community care work that positively impacted the lives of the poor and underprivileged in rural communities of Imo State, Nigeria,’ the statement said.
Madu was also said to had 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, she was involved in activities at Cholera Treatment Centre to create awareness and carry out research on the 2014 cholera outbreak,’ WGH stated.