Shanti Teresa Lakra, Indian Nurse, Named Finalist for Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award

a line of photos of 10 finalists nurses of aster guardian global nursing award 2023
List of photos of 10 finalists nurses of aster guardian global nursing award 2023

Dubai-based award Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award has announced its top 10 finalists for the 2023 edition of the award, worth a total of $250,000. These finalists were chosen from over 52,000 nurses registered across 202 countries and will now compete for the grand prize, with the winner set to be announced on International Nurses Day, May 12, 2023, at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London.

The finalists are nurses from around the world, including England, Kenya, UAE, Ireland, Panama, Singapore, Philippines, India, Portugal, and Tanzania. They were selected following a rigorous review process conducted by Ernst & Young LLP, a Screening-Jury, and the Grand Jury.

The top 10 finalists will now undergo further evaluation through a public voting process and a final evaluation by the Grand Jury. The winner of the grand prize, worth $250,000, will be announced at the award ceremony on May 12, 2023.

The Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award was created to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary contributions made by nurses around the world. It aims to inspire nurses to innovate and go above and beyond in their daily work, as well as to recognize those who have made significant contributions to healthcare through their work.

The finalists include nurses who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and dedication to their work, often in the face of significant challenges. For example, Cathy Cribben-Pearse from OakTree Mentoring in the United Arab Emirates started her own mentoring program to support nurses and midwives during the pandemic. Christine Mawia Sammy from Kenya established the first-ever newborn unit in her county, leading to a drastic drop in neonatal mortality rates.

Other finalists include Gloria Itzel Ceballo Batista from Panama, who has worked to develop care guidelines at the national level and contributed to cancer patient safety and longevity. Jincy Jerry from Ireland has developed digital and service innovations to increase quality and patient safety, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lilian Yew Siew Mee from Singapore has led a multi-pronged approach to establishing high standards of service at her organization, Raffles Hospital.

Shanti Teresa Lakra is a dedicated nurse from India, who works at G.B. Pant Hospital-Port Blair, and is deeply committed to serving the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. These islands are home to six Scheduled Tribes, of which five are classified as PVTGs. Shanti’s early nursing days were spent at the sub-centre, Dugong Creek, where one of the primitive tribes, Ongees, reside in remote areas of Little Andaman. The Ongees have limited knowledge of medical procedures, unclear medical histories, and a language barrier when they visit medical institutions. Shanti spent time at their settlement, making them comfortable and providing care to them.

In 2004, when the Indian Ocean tsunami struck and destroyed the Ongee Island habitat, Shanti persevered and made her home with them, living in an open tent. Her dedication and commitment to the tribe’s well-being have earned her several awards, including the National Florence Nightingale Award in 2010, the Indian Red Cross Society Best Volunteer, and Best Health Worker Award in 2011. Shanti’s incredible service has also been recognized by the Government of India, which honored her with the Padma Shri in 2011, the fourth-highest civilian award. Her work has been instrumental in ensuring that adverse health conditions do not lead to the extinction of the PVTGs in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Michael Joseph Dino is the Director for Research Development and Innovation Center at Our Lady of Fatima University in the Philippines. He is a researcher and development scientist who has published many research papers on various topics such as nursing, leadership, management, and technology. He has received numerous awards and global recognitions for his outstanding work in improving health literacy, promoting breastfeeding, and deploying multimedia projects on vaccine equity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Margaret Helen Shepherd is a nurse from Royal Devon University Healthcare in England who is committed to eradicating diabetes through improved diagnosis. She is a leading expert on monogenic diabetes in the UK and advises healthcare professionals worldwide on managing this condition. Margaret established a national network of genetic diabetes nurses in 2002 to raise awareness of this disease. She was also one of the 70 national NIHR70@70 Senior Nurse Research Leaders who promote research awareness and engagement within clinical care. Additionally, she received the highly respected Florence Nightingale Foundation Leadership Scholarship.

Teresa Fraga, Associação Nomeiodonada IPSS, Portugal – Teresa Fraga, a neonatal nurse, noticed a lack of support for children with chronic illnesses and decided to establish KASTELO, a palliative care unit in Portugal. She aims to provide innovative and quality care to improve the quality of life of these children. KASTELO offers various activities such as cognitive development, leisure, sensory and musical activities, and engages the community through adapted theatre, animation groups, and hippotherapy. Her efforts were recognized with an award from the European Union.

Wilson Fungameza Gwessa, a nurse at Muhimbili National Hospital-Mloganzila in Tanzania, has made significant contributions in reducing neonatal deaths. With only 5 years of nursing experience, he introduced the Improvised Bubble CPAP Device in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as a substitute for respiratory support machines, which helped curb the high neonatal mortality rate. He has also authored a book titled ‘Nursing Diagnosis for Academic and Clinical Practice’.

Public voting is open on the Aster Guardian Portal

The Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award is an important recognition of the vital work that nurses do every day around the world. With the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the critical role that healthcare professionals play in society, it is more important than ever to recognize and celebrate the incredible contributions made by nurses everywhere. The finalists for the award are all exceptional examples of the dedication and commitment that nurses bring to their work, and they are all deserving of recognition for their contributions to healthcare.


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