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Long-serving nurses and midwife honoured |17 May 2023

Long-serving nurses and midwife honoured

(L to r) Merna Gabriel, Geline Michel and Elsia Sinon

Nurses Elsia Sinon and Geline Michel and midwife Merna Gabriel have been recognised for their long years of service devoted to the Ministry of Health.

The three long-serving staff were presented with their awards during a special event held yesterday at Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre at the Seychelles Hospital.

The event was organised by the nursing directorate office in collaboration with the chief nursing officer, Dr Gylian Mein, to commemorate International Nurses Day and Midwifery Day on May 12, 2023 and May 5, 2023 respectively.

The three nurses are all passionate nurse mentors and coaches’ colleagues to support the continued success of the nursing profession.

The special event included the launch of a nursing and midwifery research team to look into the practices of the two professions, distribution of certificates to nurses and midwifes who attended training and a debate on the future of nurses and midwifery.

It was attended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Seychelles, Dr Rex Mpazanje; the Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon; the  chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Dr Danny Louange; nurses, midwifes and other health officials.

Sixty-three-year-old Geline Michel, a nurse manager specialised in anaesthesia, was the first to be presented with her award. She has clocked 46 years with the ministry and is currently working in the anaesthesiology department of the operating room. She started her nursing career in 1977 at 16 years old after completing her studies at the pre-nursing school following her primary and secondary education.

“It’s by the grace of God and the love and devotion for the job that had made me the nurse that I am and to remain a nurse for so long. I get great satisfaction when I see patients that I have attended to are well and no longer sick as compared to when they entered the hospital,” said Mrs Michel, who noted that being a nurse was her childhood dream.

Mrs Michel said that given the nursing profession is not easy, to become one has to come from inside. Her advice to young people who want to become a nurse is to “join with your heart. Do not let anybody force you into it. It is not an easy profession but it’s the love and devotion for the job that will give you the satisfaction”.

Elsia Sinon,who is the principal nursing officer at the haemodialysis unit, began her nursing career on January 4, 1977 at the age of 17, following the completion of her general nursing and midwifery training. The 63-year-old has clocked 46 years of experience in the nursing profession. She said that her willingness to help people and her aunt who was a nurse, have influenced her to join the nursing profession.

“I feel very proud to have been recognised because I know I have done a lot. The compassion, devotion and the love for the job are still part of me and I think it is because of those qualities that I am still working as a nurse today amid the challenges that I am able to surmount every time they arise,” said Ms Sinon, who noted that she still has the strength and courage to carry on.

As a sign of encouragement to young people who want to join the nursing profession, Ms Sinon said that given the job has many challenges and difficulties, she and her other colleague nurses will be present to support and guide them in their careers. 

After being presented with her award for her 42 years of service, midwife Merna Gabriel said that she had the vocation to become a nurse since she was a primary pupil. After completing her primary and secondary education, she joined the nursing school in January 1981 and upon her graduation as a qualified nurse/midwife in 1986, she was posted at the maternity ward and has stayed there ever since.

“I wanted to be a nurse but I did not choose to be a midwife. It just happened that I was posted at the maternity ward and I got to love and enjoy the job and that was why I did not ask to be transferred to another place,” said Mrs Gabriel, who noted that she is proud to have been recognised for her long years of service.

The 58-year-old urges her nursing colleagues to carry on in their noble profession to serve the people of this country and to feel proud in doing so and not to get discouraged even though the career carries many challenges and difficulties.


Text & photo by Patrick Joubert

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