New York. Two Malteser International nurses were, Friday 11, May 2018, honored with the 2018 Inspiring Nurse Award at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Wiphan Khaloi from Thailand and Malika Harbalie from Syria were among 21 other nurses who were recognized for their exemplary practice in the delivery of healthcare. In its second year, the annual “Inspiring Global Nurse” Award ceremony marks International Nurses Day and highlights the role nurses play in changing lives and in making progress towards achieving global development goals.
“Nursing focuses on serving the needs of a human as a bio psychosocial and spiritual being,” said Wiphan Khaloi of her work as a nurse. “I strive to bring scientific knowledge but also interpersonal, intellectual and social skills, including compassion.”
Wiphan works as a woman and child health coordinator for Malteser International’s program for refugees on the Thai-Myanmar border. She has been with Malteser International since 2005, and has been part of various relief missions including the 2005 Tsunami intervention and the 2015 emergency relief in Nepal in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes.
Our second honoree, Malika Harbalie is a nurse at the pediatric hospital run by the Independent Doctor’s Association (IDA), Malteser International’s partner organization in Aleppo, Syria. In 2016, an aerial bomb attack severely damaged the hospital, forcing it to cease operations. On July 13, 2017, Malika was injured when a car bomb exploded near her, leaving her with multiple fractures and burns. Although she has lost so much to the ongoing civil war in her country, Malika is still dedicated in her work for humanity.
Malteser International's Secretary General Ingo Radtke described the two nurses as unsung heroes and an inspiration for many in the humanitarian field. “Although they do not usually make the headlines, the work of these women and other nurses worldwide should not be overlooked,” he said.
“Their commitment is all the more remarkable because of the alarming levels of risk they endure every day,” he added.
Accepting the award, Malika Harbalie said. “You have not only honored me, but you have also honored the staff of the children's hospital in Aleppo, especially the medical staff who are still working under the worst circumstances. My wish is to see peace prevailing in Syria.”
The award ceremony was organized by Nurses with Global Impact (NWGI), a non-profit organization with a mission to connect, support and celebrate the work of nurses worldwide.