The nurses work at the St John Ophthalmic Outpatient Clinic and Cataract Day Case Surgical Centre in Gaza. As Hanan Zaalan, Fouad Najjar, Ghazi El Baba, Mohamed Barakat and Abdallah El Baba were unable to travel to the conference as planned, the award was received on their behalf by Jackie Jaidy of the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, of which the Gaza-based clinic is an outpost. Jaidy commented that she was “very happy to receive the award on their behalf, but very sad that they are unable to be here to collect it themselves. The reason they had been given the award was how they continued to work under great duress and great restrictions to both their daily and working lives.” She added that, “the fact they can not be here to receive the award is indicative of the duress and restrictions that they face.”

The recipients were congratulated on their determination to continue to provide nursing care to the population of Gaza despite difficulties in sourcing equipment, and in some cases even getting into work. Dr Verena Tschudin, Director of International Centre for Nursing Ethics (ICNE), comments, “Nowadays, it is impossible to do almost anything without considering the ethics of it. This is particularly true in nursing, which is more than just a job; it is also a moral endeavour. Therefore, morality and ethics are a large part of any nursing role and should be recognised as such.”

The awards are presented to any nurse in recognition of an outstanding commitment to human rights and exemplifying the essence of nursing’s philosophy of humanity. As the nominations for the award are open to all nurse practitioners and the winners are chosen by an international committee, this award is unique in the field of nursing.

MEDICA.de; Source: University of Surrey