Red Cross Red Crescent Ebola responders among Florence Nightingale medal recipients

Publié: 18 mai 2015

Geneva, 18 May, 2015 – Fourteen Red Cross nurses are among the 36 outstanding nurses honoured with nursing’s highest international distinction, the Florence Nightingale medal.

The medal recognizes exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster. It also recognizes exemplary service or a pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education.

Among the recipients are several nurses who responded to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, including one nurse who died of the disease.

The nurses recognized this year work for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies from Australia, Austria, Iran, Lebanon, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, and the United States.


Josephine Makieu, head nurse at the IFRC Ebola treatment centre in Kenema, Sierra Leone, says she is very happy to have received the honour.

“I have been able to deliver for my country and my people. I, with others, have worked for the interest of my country to care for the Ebola patients when many people were frightened to. I am very proud to have helped my country in this time of crisis.”

A posthumous award has been given to Morison Musa, Makieu’s colleague at the Ebola treatment centre. Mr Musa died in January this year after contracting Ebola. His uncle, Dr Bockarie Vandi says he is happy that Morison has received the award.

 “Though his loss is a tragedy to us, his family, we appreciate that his work has been recognized and thank the Red Cross for their care of us after his death.”

Amanda McClelland, Global Emergency Health Advisor for IFRC, who was responsible for establishing the Kenema and Kono Ebola treatment centres in Sierra Leone, has been recognized for her unwavering commitment and dedication to assisting all three West African countries in ending the outbreak. McClelland trained both Mrs Makieu and Mr Morison and says their care of patients was exemplary and that they, along with the other Red Cross Red Crescent nurses who worked for the Ebola response, are truly deserving.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be recognized among this group of nurses. I have never been so proud to be a nurse, and a manager of nurses. I asked local and international staff to step forward and do what everyone else was scared to do, and they did it with such care, compassion and humanity. I was humbled every day to work alongside them.”

 Elizabeth Bowell, IFRC emergency health delegate, who set up the Ebola community-based protection programme in Liberia, has also received the medal. “I am very humbled to have even been nominated let alone awarded the Florence Nightingale medal. It is a privilege to be alongside my colleagues on every mission.”

Other recipients include Australians Kerry Page and Nola Henry who work for ICRC in South Sudan, Monika Wild from Austrian Red Cross, Carmen Kynard and Diane St Denis from American Red Cross, Ramin Kohankhaki from Iranian Red Crescent, Marie-Claude Assaf from Lebanon Red Cross, Graham Zinsli from New Zealand Red Cross, Gwendolyn Pang, Secretary General of Philippine Red Cross, and Hawa Said Musse from ICRC in Somalia.

IFRC Team Leader Ebola Coordination and Support Unit, Birte Hald, says she is extremely proud of the dedication and hard work shown by the nurses.

“These humanitarians have put the needs of others above their own and for that they are to be admired and commended. Some have risked their own lives to help those affected by epidemics, disaster and conflict. Without them, many more people would have undoubtedly suffered a great deal more.”  

This year, awards went to 36 nurses from 18 countries. The recipients were nominated by their respective National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society and selected by a commission comprised of the ICRC, IFRC, and the International Council of Nurses.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the worlds largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people each year through its 189 member National Societies. Together, IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

For further information, please contact: 

In Geneva:

  • Benoit Carpentier, Team Leader Public Communications, IFRC

Mobile: +41 792 132 413, Email:


In Accra:

  • Corinne Ambler, Regional Communications Coordinator, IFRC Ebola response

Mobile: +233 266 444 374, E-mail: 

In Addis Ababa:

  • Katherine Mueller, Communications Manager, IFRC Africa

Mobile: +251 930 033 413, E-mail: