Lini PN, the nurse who was contracted with Nipah virus and died while treating a patient during the Nipah outbreak in Kerala was posthumously awarded National Florence Nightingale Award 2019.

President Ram Nath Kovind presented the award and was received by Lini’s husband Sajeesh P on Thursday in New Delhi.

Sister Lini worked at EMS Memorial Cooperative hospital in Kozhikode’s Perambra. Mohammad Sadik is believed to be the first person to have affected by the deadly Nipah virus whom was looked after by Lini. However, he could not be saved and soon after Sister Lini also fell ill and passed away.

President Kovind presented the National Florence Nightingale Awards to the nursing community yesterday on International Nurses Day, which was on December 5.

Sister Lini worked at EMS Memorial Cooperative hospital in Kozhikode’s Perambra. Mohammad Sadik is believed to be the first person to have affected by the deadly Nipah virus whom was looked after by Lini.

About National Florence Nightingale Award

The awards were instituted in 1973 by Government of India as a mark of recognition for meritorious services rendered by nurses to the society. It is named after Florence Nightingale also known as ‘The Lady With the Lamp’. She was an English social reformer and the founder of modern nursing. Nurses play a vital role in addressing multiple health challenges, delivering quality and cost effective health care and responding to health needs of individuals, families and communities.

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What is Nipah virus?

 Nipah is a zoonotic virus i.e. it spreads from animals to humans. The Nipah virus is transmitted from flying foxes (fruit bats) to animals and humans. Generally it affects animals like pigs, dogs, horses, among others. If spread among humans, Nipah virus can cause serious illness which may result in death.

The World Health Organisation says the Nipah virus infects a range of animals and causes severe disease and death in people which makes it a cause of concern for public health. Nipah virus can be transmitted through “contaminated food or directly between people”.

President on role of nurses

“Nurses play a vital role in delivering quality and cost-effective healthcare, addressing multiple health challenges and responding to the health needs of individuals, families and communities,” President Kovind said.

He further added the world is more in need of care and compassion, and nurses indeed are symbols of “seva, shushrusha, karuna”. For patients and their families, nurses are the face of healthcare services.

The awards were instituted in 1973 by Government of India as a mark of recognition for meritorious services rendered by nurses to the society.

The year 2020

The President also shared that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced 2020 as the year of the nurse and mid-wife.

“We have an increasing number of elderly people who deserve and require proper geriatric care. In India, families take care of our elders in their old age. However, with changing lifestyles the demand for professional caregivers to take care of the elderly is on the rise,” President Kovind said.

“These care-givers, who need not be trained nurses, would certainly benefit from basic training in geriatric care. Our nursing training institutions can consider developing short training programs for such caregivers too,” he added.

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