International Day is commemorated the world over on May 12 and global healthcare service provider Aster DM Healthcare is marking it this year with the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award in London. Two nurses from India – Shanti Teresa Lakra and Jincy Jerry – are among the top 10 worldwide finalists in the running for the coveted $250,000 award.
Lakra, who works at the G.B. Pant Hospital in Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is a recipient of one of India’s highest civilian honours – the – for her incredible service in the field of nursing. Lakra has spent considerable time within the tribal communities of the remote islands to address their healthcare needs. In 2004, when the tsunami hit the Ongee Island habitat and drove them deep into the jungle, she made her home with them and lived in an open tent. She now works for all the major tribes in the region.
She said: “I work as a grassroots level worker in a very remote area and my whole world belongs to the tribals residing in a very interior and isolated part of Andaman and Nicobar islands. To be a finalist in these is overwhelming because I never dreamt of it.”
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The tribals are not well-informed about medical procedures and there is a language barrier when they visit medical institutions.
Lakra explains: “They are very shy by nature and it isn’t easy for them to share information about their health problems. I strive to provide the best care I possibly can.”
Jincy Jerry is born in the southern Indian state of and is now based in Ireland, where she has been undertaking several path-breaking technological initiatives to ensure the field of nursing is fully equipped for the needs of the profession.
Currently serving as the Assistant Director of Nursing for Infection Prevention and Control, the Dublin-based nurse works at the Mater Misericordiae University . She is determined that innovation is a way to increase quality and patient safety and has developed a number of digital, device and service innovations. She won the Prix Hubert Tuor Innovation Academy Award in 2021 and also won recognition for Best Use of Information Technology at the 2020 Irish Healthcare Awards.
Jerry said: “In 2020, I introduced robotic process automation to the hospital. Our workload was very high at the time, so we introduced the system to counter that. Currently, I am working on around eight projects in the pipeline including work on using to assist, train and modify behaviours on hygiene.
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“If we have the right technology, we can save so much valuable time. It’s crucial that the nursing profession benefits from it.”
Aster DM Healthcare said it has 8,000 nurses in its own organisation and created this award to honour worldwide – with the other finalists from England, the UAE, Kenya, Tanzania, Panama, Singapore, Portugal and the Philippines.
Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, said: “Millions of nurses across the world are working hard every single day to serve their patients and form the core of the eco-system.
“Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award is our way of acknowledging their dedication and recognising their work.”