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Zimbabwean nurse wins prestigious UK award and £12 500

LONDON – A Zimbabwean nurse in the UK received £12 500 after winning a prestigious nursing award at a ceremony that took place at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) headquarters in London last week Thursday.

Perfect Tiritega Mawaka
Perfect Tiritega Mawaka

Perfect Tiritega Mawaka, a Community Hospitals Manager at the North East London Foundation Trust was one of two recipients of the Mary Seacole Leadership Award for 2013.

The other recipient was Calvin Moorley, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Health, Sport and Bioscience at the University of East London.

The awards honour the achievements of health care professionals working to provide excellent patient care for black and minority ethnic communities. They also support the winners in undertaking a year-long project to benefit the health needs of people from black and minority backgrounds.

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Speaking to Nehanda Radio, Mawaka said “I have been honoured to receive the award for my work looking at the lived experience of dementia in individuals of black ethnicity. I thank my mentors, supervisors and family for their support.

“I am grateful to the legacy of Mary Seacole, for this award and for allowing me to go where I have never been before. My aim is to inspire others to keep breaking barriers and to dare to be powerful in their service of their dream.”

Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive said, “these winners should be immensely proud of the innovation projects; they are making a positive impact to the care and lives of black and minority ethnic patients. They are a fitting, dynamic and contemporary legacy for a remarkable pioneer and leader.”

Mary Seacole was a Jamaican-born woman of Scottish and Creole descent who set up a ‘British Hotel’ behind the lines during the Crimean War, which she described as “a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers,” and provided succour for wounded servicemen on the battlefield.

The awards named after her were established in 1994 and provide funding to specific health care projects aimed at improving the health outcomes of people from black and ethnic minority communities.