–For bravery and humanitarian services
The Florence Nightingale Medal honors exceptional courage and devotion to the victims of armed conflict or natural disaster—a description that ideally fits Mrs. Ballah and others named. They are considered champions of public health in their respective countries.
This distinct international award to Madam Ballah also recognizes her exemplary service or pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education.
During the Ebola outbreak, Mrs. Ballah headed the most difficult aspect of the response efforts—serving as the lead coordinator of the Liberian Red Cross’ safe and dignified burial team, ensuring that all Ebola bodies were collected from the streets and communities and properly buried.
“This was one of the most difficult aspects of the response efforts and as a result, nobody or group wanted to take responsibility for that during a technical meeting chaired by the President at the Foreign Ministry. That is how the LNRCS volunteered to take on that task. We were grateful that we served our country in that capacity and the Red Cross family did well to ensure that we became successful,” Mrs. Ballah said at a program last year.
With this award, Mrs. Ballah joins Dr. Jerry Brown, Representative Saah Joseph and a short list of other Liberian medical professionals to receive international recognition for their respective roles in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease.
Ballah was nominated for the award by the Liberian Red Cross and selected by a commission made up of the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the International Council of Nurses.
The president of the Liberian Red Cross, Jerome Clarke, in a special congratulatory message to Ballah, underscored her outstanding performance and commitment to offer hope and support to humanity during the dangerous period of Ebola.
Clarke said the award is an indication that the work of the Liberia Red Cross staff and volunteers is still being recognized and appreciated internationally to motivate other staff and volunteers in the service of humanity.
In addition to the Florence Nightingale Medal, the LNRCS and some of its volunteers have received several awards since the Ebola outbreak. These included the Golden Image Award, Investiture EVD Award, Spanish Red Cross EVD Award, and the Special Humanitarian Award; and individually, the alumni category of the 2016 Advance Global Australian Awards to Mrs. Neima Candy.