Eight Pakistanis nurses and midwives have made it to the 2020 global list of ‘100 Outstanding Women Nurse and Midwife Leaders’ for their contributions to raising healthcare standards across the globe, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The list recognizes nurses and midwives from 43 countries. The recognition marks the end of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) yearlong ‘Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020’ campaign.

The outstanding leaders were acknowledged by Women in Global Health (WGH), which collaborated with the WHO, United Nations Population Fund, Nursing Now, International Council of Nurses and International Confederation of Midwives.

The nominated women represent several hundreds of thousands of nurses and midwives globally, who worked on the frontlines of the pandemic and exhibited courage and compassion while working in a variety of clinical and community settings and training and building the skills of healthcare professionals.

By acknowledging these nursing and midwifery leaders, WGH renews its call to WHO member nations to establish and support strategic leadership positions for nurses and midwives in health facilities, involve them in key decisions, support diversity in recruitment strategies, reduce the gender pay gap and ensure a safe work environment.

The Ministry of foreign affairs also appreciated the paramedics’ staff in a tweet from its official Twitter account.

The nurses and midwives recognised for their work are faculty and alumni at Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery (Sonam).

Sonam Dean Dr Rozina Karmaliani was honoured under the Board and Management category in recognition of her efforts to spearhead improvements in adolescent health, strengthen research capacities and integrate research into education and practice.

“It is an honour to be acknowledged by the international public health and nursing fraternity,” Karmaliani said, adding that the year was particularly challenging for healthcare providers who exhibited incredible commitment in their respective roles while responding to the Covid crisis.

“There is no better time than now to acknowledge the critical role of nurses in creating resilient healthcare systems,” she added.

Other honoured members included Sonam faculty members Yasmin Parpio and Samina Vertejee who were appreciated under the Community Hero category for their services in community health nursing, while Saima Sachwani was recognised for her contributions in developing impactful nursing curriculum under the Human Capital Development category.

Nurse-midwife Marina Baig was also lauded for leveraging mobile health technology to improve maternal health outcomes under the Innovation, Science and Health category.

Meanwhile, three Sonam alumni were recognised under the Community Hero category. Dr Shela Hirani was honoured for her efforts to promote, protect and support breastfeeding during the coronavirus pandemic, Neelam Punjani for her work in improving access to sexual and reproductive health rights and Sadaf Saleem for her contributions to geriatric nursing.