Two Indians on final list for Rs 2 crore global nursing prize

LONDON: Shanti Teresa Lakra, a nurse working with primitive tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Jincy Jerry, from Kerala, Ireland, are among 10 finalists for a global award honoring nurses around the world. Lakra of GB Pant Hospital in Port Blair received the award Padma Shri in 2011 for his incredible service to the Andaman and Nicobar tribal community – earning their trust over the years, overcoming the language barrier and providing medical assistance whenever they needed it.
Lakra and Jerry, assistant director of nursing for infection prevention and control at Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin, were selected from 52,000 entries sent in from 202 countries for the Aster Guardians Global NursingAward 2023, which carries a cash prize of over Rs 2 crore. Finalists will be judged by a jury and the result announced at a ceremony in London on May 12, coinciding with International Nurses Day. No less than 13,156 Indian nurses applied for the second edition of the award.
“My whole world belongs to the tribes living in a very inland and isolated part of Andaman and Nicobar,” Lakra said. When the 2004 tsunami hit Onge Tribe Island and pushed them deep into the jungle, she made her home with them and lived in an open tent. She remembers helping a teenage Onge deliver a premature baby weighing less than a kilo the night of the tsunami. Lakra said if she won the prize, she would use the money to start an NGO to provide health care to endangered indigenous islanders. Lakra, born in Rangat on the middle island of Andaman, also wants to fund young Onge who want to train as nurses.
Jerry, who moved to Dublin in 2006 after training as a nurse at Jamia Hamdard in Delhi, was nominated for a robotic system she introduced to her Dublin hospital in March 2020. Inspired by the banking industry, it has significantly reduces administrative work for nurses, eliminating human error, allowing nurses to spend more time with patients, and improving job satisfaction and staff retention.


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