Lini PN, the 30-year-old nurse from Kerala who died due to contracting the Nipah virus while treating a patient last year during the Nipah outbreak, was posthumously awarded National Florence Nightingale Award-2019 on Thursday. The President handed over the award to Lini’s husband Sajeesh Puthur during the award ceremony held in Delhi. National Florence Nightingale awards were instituted in the year 1973 by the Indian government as a mark of recognition for the meritorious services rendered by nurses.
President Kovind presents National Florence Nightingale Awards 2019 in New Delhi; says the country is grateful to the nursing community for their dedication and selfless services to fellow citizens. https://t.co/oOwEZBK4Hy pic.twitter.com/mLTkHXWzC8— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) December 5, 2019
Sister Lini was a nurse at EMS Memorial Cooperative hospital in Kozhikode’s Perambra, where she looked after Mohammed Sadik, the first person believed to have been affected by the deadly Nipah virus in 2018. Soon after he succumbed to the disease, Sister Lini who looked after him in the hospital, too fell ill and passed away. The disease is known to have a mortality rate as high as 70 per cent. There is no vaccine to prevent the infection, and the treatment is also largely symptomatic. The Kerala government has also constituted an award named ‘Sister Lini Memorial Award’ to commemorate her sacrifice.
Apart from Lini, 35 other nurses were also awarded this year in two slots of 18 awardees each. “I congratulate all the awardees for their meritorious services. Nurses play a vital role in delivering quality and cost-effective health care, addressing health challenges and multiple health needs of patients… For patients and their families nurses are the face of healthcare services,” said President Ram Nath Kovind. Nearly 482 nurses have been decorated with Florence Nightingale awards so far.