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Liberian wins ICRC’s highest award

A former staff of the Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRC) Roselyn N. Ballah is winner of the highest award of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Florence Nightingale Medal Award.

The ICRC bi-annually designates certain number of nurses to receive the Florence Nightingale Medal with nominations received from various National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world and selection is done in Geneva, Switzerland based on merit.

Presenting the award Thursday, 30 November to Mrs. Ballah, the President of the LNRCS, Jerome N. J Clarke, Jr. calls on other Liberians to emulate her exemplary service to humanity as an inspiration.

He recalls that the recipient played a successful role during the Ebola virus outbreak, which to the Red Cross to have nominated her for the prestigious award, for which they are grateful to the ICRC for confirming their decision and selecting her for the highest award.

Mr. Clark continues that 39 outstanding nurses from 22 countries, including Liberia have received this award, which recognizes exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster.

The LNRCS former staff is awarded the prestigious medal for 2017 for her outstanding dedication to duty during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia between 2014 and 2015. She headed the safe and dignified burial team, ensuring that all Ebola bodies were collected from streets and communities within Monrovia and its environs and properly buried.

Also making remarks, the Head of Mission for the ICRC in Monrovia, Bernard Metraux lauds Mrs. Ballah for her exceptional commitment during the outbreak, adding that the whole world was panicking, fearing a possible spread of the disease, she dedicated herself fully to a war against one of the most, if not the most daring attack the world was confronted with.

He explains that Florence Nightingale, in whose memory the award is named, was a nurse operating with the British Army in the battlefield during the Crimea War 165 years ago before the birth of the Red Cross, and she dedicated herself exemplarily to the wounded of this bloody war.

In response, Mrs. Roselyn N. Ballah expresses gratitude to both the ICRC and the LNRCS for the recognition, which she notes, is not only for her, but the team she led.

She narrates that during the Ebola outbreak, their lives were on the line, and people chased them out from various communities, but she was never deterred.
More 4,000 Liberians, including women and children lost their lives to the disease that also made several hundred kids orphans.

By Bridgett Milton -Editing by Jonathan Browne

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