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The Third International Neonatal Nursing Excellence Award is to be presented by COINN and Save the Children to two neonatal nurses working in newborn care in high burden, low-resource settings. This high-impact honor recognizes recognizes the commitment of nurses working on the front lines of newborn care in resource-challenged countries, where the majority of newborn deaths occur. Neonatal nurses save newborn lives. Every day they are working to reduce the number of newborn deaths – working quietly, often in challenging settings, to counsel parents on essential newborn care, provide medicines, resuscitate babies, and support parents during a stressful time. Over three-quarters of the 2.7 million annual newborn deaths occur in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where there is a critical shortage of medical care, midwives, and nurses. The Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP, ) calls for strengthening the health care workforce particularly midwives and nurses with skills of care for small and sick newborns.

The Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN) and Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Livesprogram are recognizing and encouraging excellence in neonatal nursing by presenting the International Neonatal Nursing Excellence Award to two nurses working in newborn care in low-resource settings. The winners are selected among nominations from Every Newborn focus countries* to receive this year’s recognition, for their commitment to providing high-quality newborn care in the places where most newborn deaths occur. These extraordinary nurses gladly embrace their mission to help newborns survive the most dangerous moments of life, while cultivating an environment of support, trust, and competency among health workers and families. The winners will be honored during the opening ceremony the 9th Council of International Neonatal Nurses Conference (COINN 2016) in Vancouver, Canada, in August 2016.



Regina Obeng, nurse from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana, and Rekha Samant, nurse from Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India were the recipients of the first International Neonatal Nursing Excellence Award during the opening ceremony of the 7th International Neonatal Nursing Conference in Durban, South Africa on October, 24, 2010. Watch the video about your passionate colleagues who are changing the world.









Christine Sammy (Kitui, Kenya), Anila Ali Bardai (Karachi, Pakistan) and Netsayi Gowero (Blantyre, Malawi) are the awardees of the 2013 International Neonatal Nursing Excellence Award presented at the opening ceremony of the 8th International Neonatal Nursing Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Watch the videos (created by Save the Children and Healthy Newborn Network):

– Interviews with the awardees by with Professor Joy Lawn (Save the Children and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) directly from Belfast

– Videos about your colleagues who won these awards:

Christine Sammy, Kitui, Kenya – top award winner. Senior nursing officer and a neonatal pediatric nurse at Kitui District Hospital provides care to mothers and infants 180 kilometers east of Nairobi and trains others to do so. Christine runs trainings and supervision for newborn resuscitation. Her diligence in data management and infection control contributed to an infant mortality reduction from over 50% in 2010 to below 10% in 2012 in Kitui Hospital. Christine is continuing her education in newborn care and hospital management and recently received an academic scholarship from the German International Cooperation organization. She also won Staff of the Year Award in her hospital this year.

Anila Ali Bardai, Karachi, Pakistan – top award winner. Head nurse at the Aga Khan University Hospital, she strives to reduce infant mortality and support families who have lost babies. She leads research and evidence-based practices in the NICU and teaches new staff nurses and students. She works in bereavement care and infection prevention, and provides counseling to mothers of sick babies during stressful times. Her contributions have helped to standardize newborn care throughout the hospital and have improved infection rates, resulting in a decrease in newborn mortality. Anila has also been involved in outreach work for newborn care gaining wide community respect.

Netsayi Gowero
, Blantyre, Malawi – runner-up award winner. Registered Nurse Midwife at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, she specializes in the care of sick and preterm babies. A the hospital’s Chatinkha Nursery Unit, Netsayi provides new mothers with breastfeeding support, teaches Kangaroo care and helps to manage newborn infections. She is a role model and mentor who is seeking to translate scientific evidence in newborn care.