By Emmanuel Maleve
The Aster Guardians Global Nursing Awards inspires future caregivers to continue making the world a better place to live in and also recognizes the commitment of nurses working on the frontlines of newborn care among others in resource-challenged countries, where the majority of newborn deaths occur.
Christine Mawia Sammy, a pediatric neonatal nurse in Kitui county referral hospital and county reproductive maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health coordinator is the only Kenyan amongst Top ten finalists for the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Awards that will take place in the illustrious city of London on 12th May 2023.
Along with being honoured on the biggest global stage for nursing excellence, the winning nurse will also receive a life-changing prize amount of $250,000 equivalent to Ksh33.3 Million.
Due to her passion nurse Christine With 27 years of experience in maternal and newborn care as well as infection control, she established the first ever newborn unit in Kitui county in 2010 by transforming a single nursery room into an independent newborn unit at the hospital.
By so doing, the neonatal mortality rate dropped drastically from above 50% to below 10% within a span of one year. During her role as a newborn health support supervisor in several health facilities, she noticed that most of the neonatal deaths were mostly due to birth asphyxia.
Currently the infant mortality rate in Kitui county has dropped from 47 per 1000 live births to 24.9 per 1000 live births due to high impact interventions initiated by Nurse Christine Sammy and team.
In a bid to address the gap and promote newborn survival, Christine worked closely with decision makers and partners who supported her initiatives, despite facing many cultural and religious barriers.
She coordinated newborn resuscitation trainings and mentorship across Kitui County by moving from one Sub – County to the other in all the eight Sub – Counties of Kitui. These initiatives saw the infant mortality considerably drop in Kitui.
Nurse Christine Sammy has won several awards in Kenya and internationally. In 2010, she was awarded as district nurse of the year and same year she became the provincial nurse of the year ( Eastern province).
In 2013, she was awarded international neonatal Nursing excellence award and same year she was honoured by The former President of the Republic of Kenya H.E Uhuru Kenyatta with Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW) Presidential award.
In 2021 she was won the Beyond Zero Health Awards (Nurse – Led – Initiative of the Year) which was awarded to her by the former First Lady of the Republic of Kenya H. E. Margaret Kenyatta during Beyond Zero Health Awards Summit held at State House, Nairobi.
In 2022 She was honoured by the former President of Kenya H. E. Uhuru Kenyatta with Trailblazer of the Year award – Reproductive Health category.
In 2023, she is among top ten finalists Nurses for the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Awards .
AS KENYAN AND KITUI NURSE WE WISH HER THE VERY BEST.