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Launched in Dubai 'Champion Nurse Awards' acknowledges the contribution of nurses in the healthcare industry

Filed on February 9, 2020

"Nurses are the backbone of the system"

Dr Junaid Bajwa, visiting scientist at the Harvard School of public health: "The need for adapting a more holistic approach to medical care"

Dubai - The Champion Nurse Awards launch was held in Dubai supported by The Health Bank. This launch, which will be an annual event, celebrated the nurses' invaluable contribution, achievements and applauded their dedication to the profession and humanity.

The Champion Nurse Awards were presented to Kavitha Shijo (labour and delivery room head nurse at Zulekha Hospital, Dubai), Reny Jacob (oncology unit head nurse at Zulekha Hospital, Dubai), Jessy Anna Philip (cath lab in-charge, Dubai Hospital), Dr Safa Al Mustafa (chief nursing officer, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City) and Cassie Purvey (tissue viability nurse specialist, Kings College Hospital London).

Esteemed speakers from the health care sector exchanged views at the event about the necessity of establishing a human connection in the healthcare sector, and the need to address the global shortage of nurses.

During his welcome speech, Raza Jafar, founder of the Global Sustainability Network, an organisation committed to achieving UN SDG Goal 8, specifically highlighting SDG Goals 8.5 and 8.6, relating to job creation and youth unemployment issues, said: "According to the World Health Organization, the world requires nine million additional nurses by 2030 and in order to achieve that, we need to recognise and make this profession rewarding for youth to choose this noble profession, to serve humanity."

Salman Arif, CEO of The Health Bank, said, "As in any sector, today machine learning technology is taking over the traditional health care sector. But what technology cannot replace is the care and empathy of the traditional nurse. The goal of the Champion Nurse Awards is to recognise and reward the nursing community by nominating those who are the bastion in their respective fields."

The keynote speaker of the evening was Dr Junaid Bajwa, global lead for Strategic Alliances and Solutions for the Global Digital Centre of Excellence at MSD, visiting scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health and Board Member of University College Hospital London.

Dr Bajwa emphasised the need for adapting a more holistic approach to medical care. He believes that with the advancement of technology, doctors now have access to information regarding their patients, thus helping them personalise their experience with them. "The goal must be to capture and analyse the data about the patients available across various that can assist in customising therapies and help in creating new treatment options," he added.

The panel discussion included Christian Schuhmacher, CEO of King's College Hospital London in the UAE, Dr Layla Al Marzooqi, specialist cardiologist, and Gulnaz Tariq, head of Wound Care Unit in Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi.

Dr Marzooqi reiterated that nurses are the backbone of the system, spending maximum amount of time with their patients and ensuring that the highest quality of care is delivered. She highlighted the importance of empowering nurses, involving them in various decision-making processes that can help them increase their knowledge, assist in their growth and professional development.

Schuhmacher emphasised on combating the shortage of nurses by employing them to take up challenging roles and maximising the utility of their skills. According to him, currently 85 per cent of the nursing professionals have been brought in from abroad and the need of the hour is to make them feel more inclusive of the system, so that more UAE Nationals also consider venturing into the profession.

Gulnaz Tariq, speaking on behalf of the nursing community, said, "It is extremely important to recognise the contribution of the nursing community, and the first step in that direction has been taken by organizing the Champion Nurses Awards."

She added, "With hospitals and other entities assisting nurses in their educational and professional development, it can encourage individuals to pursue nursing as a profession."

In attendance as Guest of Honour, was Dr Zulekha Daud, a renowned physician-turned-entrepreneur based in UAE, and founder and chairperson of Zulekha Healthcare Group. For five decades, Dr Daud has offered valuable contributions to the healthcare sector in the UAE to boost welfare levels for UAE citizens and residents.

At the end of the ceremony several nurses were awarded for their invaluable contribution to the community and their dedication to the profession and humanity. Awards were presented to the winners by Dr Daud, Dr Marzooqi, Schumacher, Tariq and Arif.