3 Chinese nurses win top global honor
Wang Qishan, Chinese vice president and honorary president of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), presents the medals to the nurses at a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Sept 2, 2021. Three Chinese nurses were awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal on Thursday for their outstanding contributions to healthcare. [Photo/Xinhua]
Three Chinese nurses awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal this year, the highest distinction in the field of nursing, all fought on the front line against COVID-19, the Red Cross Society of China said on Thursday.
Vice-President Wang Qishan, who is also honorary chairman of the society, awarded medals to the three nurses at the Great Hall of the People on Thursday.
Wang Ping, vice-president of the society, said that 25 nurses from 18 countries were awarded the accolade this year, including three from China, the most from any country.
The honor, given once every two years, recognizes exceptional courage and devotion to caring for people affected by emergencies, as well as exemplary achievements and pioneering spirits in the field of public health or nursing education.
Wang Ping told a news conference that since 1983, when China began submitting candidates to the international committee, 83 Chinese nurses had been given the award.
Cheng Shouzhen, one of this year's recipients, is the head of the nursing department at Sun Yat-sen University's First Affiliated Hospital in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.
Early last year, Cheng, 59, headed a medical team treating patients in Wuhan, Hubei province－the city hit hardest during the domestic epidemic－for 61 days. Less than a month after returning from the city, she was dispatched to Serbia to assist that country's battle against COVID-19.
"As a member of the foreign medical aid team, I visited 22 cities experiencing serious local outbreaks and 84 designated hospitals or communities," she said.
Hu Minhua, 53, another recipient based at the Ninth Hospital of Nanchang in Jiangxi province, has been dealing with HIV/AIDS patients for more than two decades. She also used her expertise to save COVID-19 patients in Wuhan last year.
"The most important thing in caring for patients, whether they are infected with AIDS or COVID-19, is to have sympathy for them and think of and address their needs from their perspectives," she said.
Tuo Yali, a 47-year-old intensive care nurse at Qingyang People's Hospital in Gansu province, also received the award. She has coped with extremely dangerous situations with limited resources during several emergencies, including the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003, the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 and the COVID-19 epidemic.
While in Wuhan, she helped care for 278 COVID-19 patients, including 156 in severe or critical condition.