Nepal Nursing Project Wins Global Award
The EpiNurse project, short for Epidemiology Nurse by Nursing Association of Nepal (NAN), a governing body of nurses has been given the Risk Award by Munich Re Foundation, the UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Global Risk Forum Davos.
The award worth €100,000 (about Rs. 10.5 million) was given at the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction on Thursday in Cancun, Mexico.
The EpiNurse project aims to train and equip frontline health workers with monitoring and surveillance tools for the prevention and control of infectious diseases during disasters.
“I’m very happy and proud. This international recognition has encouraged us to work towards disaster preparedness and response, a new area to consider for health workers,” Professor Tara Pokharel, President of NAN, told Onward Nepal. Nepal’s project emerged as top choice from among the ten best entrants from different countries across the globe.
Awarded every two years, the Risk Award honours innovative plans that reduce risk and enhance disaster management.
Under EpiNurse, NAN is working to train health workers, particularly nurses in earthquake-prone urban areas to act as health security monitors. Besides health workers, school teachers and students will also be engaged in disaster management in earthquake-affected areas. Each health worker will be provided a mobile phone to identify epidemiology patterns that could be potentially dangerous. The project further aims to develop models for supporting risk-management decisions in disasters, and also focus on future risk reduction.
There are around 10,000 nurses registered under NAN. It is estimated that around 71,000 nurses are currently working in various public and private health institutions across the country.
Tara Pokharel, NAN President
The award will be a big contribution towards disaster related education for our nurses and health workers who will be trained to mitigate risks in any future disaster.
Through this project, health workers will be directly engaged in disaster response and preparedness at this scale, for the first time in the country.
After receiving the Risk Award, Apsara Pandey, a representative from NAN attending the Cancun conference said EpiNurse’s role is to ensure that disaster risk is reduced. “Our network is very powerful when it comes to collecting vital information. Nurses are able to identify high-risk and vulnerable groups. Human contact in disaster prone areas can build disaster risk knowledge and contribute to reducing risks.”
The theme for this year’s Risk Award was “Innovative concepts and technologies for information and communication.”