Naomi Ngaruiya - Celebrating the Winner Annual Florence Nightingale Award
As nurses our work is to ensure that patients receive the best care and treatment. We do this by advocating the patient’s best interest and maintaining their dignity-working together with other health professionals in recommending the best treatment plans,” says ftrs. Naomi Ngaruiya, the 2019 winner of the Annual Florence Nightingale Award.
Naoimi is a project officer with the Community Epidemic Pandemic Preparedness Program of the Kenya Red Cross Society. She is among twenty-nine outstanding nurses from 19 countries who were awarded.
The award 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. She is the only Kenyan on list.
Her first nursing experience was when she was worked at a clinic run by the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru. Given that the clinic was located near Sachangwan along the Nakuru- Eldoret highway, she spent most of her time attending to accident casualties.
“Being a nurse is a calling but it is also a challenging job which requires hard work, dedication, and a very thick skin,” says Naomi.
She joined KRCS in 2006 as a programme assistant for the Family Homebased Care program. The programme, which was based in the conflict prevalent areas of ftolo and Kuresoi in Nakuru County provided services to people living with HIV and orphaned children.
"fty most memorable day is when I rescued a mother and her new-born twins. She had delivered but had not taken ARVs for over a week because of the violence within the area. This was during one of the many ethnic flair ups that are common in this area,” Naomi said.
Through her passion for leadership, she pioneered the Anzilisha program whose
objective was to enhance health facility attendance for mothers who were about to give birth, so they could access antenatal services.
“Winningthisawardhasgivenmeanewsense of energy. fty nursing journey has taught me that when you have the spirit in your heart you can serve any community, you can do any work. This will keep me going, it's baptism. You cannot receive the crown and throw it into the fire. I have been strengthened to continue with this service. It's humanitarian forever,’’affirms an elated Naomi.