Nurse Lini Puthussery contracted the Nipah Virus from one of the patients she was taking care of, and passed away soon after.

Nipah Virus Nurse Linis heroic sacrifice recognised by WHO Director
news Healthcare Monday, June 04, 2018 - 18:35

Lini Puthussery, the nurse who contracted Nipah Virus from one of the patients she had taken care of, was commemorated by the Director of the Health Workforce, World Health Organisation, Jim Campbell, in a tweet.

“Remember them, lest we forget: Razan al-Najjar (Gaza); Lini Puthussery (India); Salome Karwah (Liberia),” he wrote in his tweet.

Nurse Lini was taking care of Mohammad Sadik, who is widely believed to be one of the first victims of the virus, even though his samples were never sent to labs for testing. Lini developed a fever just days after Sadik passed away.

Lini was kept in the isolation ward and buried soon after her death. Her family was not allowed to cremate her body as officials feared spread of the virus.

On her last day, Lini had written a letter to her husband, Sajeesh, which read, "I think I am almost on my way; I don't think I'll be able to meet you. Please look after our children. Take them with you to the Gulf; don't be all alone like our father, please."

Following Lini's death, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote on Facebook, “The loss of Lini, who had sacrificed her life for nursing a patient, is a grief for all of us. Lini’s sacrifice is incomparable. It is painful that Lini met with this tragedy while she was sincerely doing her duty. We, the people of the state, share the pain and loss of Lini’s family, friends and colleagues.”

The state government has awarded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to Lini's husband Sajeesh, who worked in Bahrain and flew down to Perambra, Kozhikode. The state has also guaranteed a government job to Sajeesh and had picked up the medical expenses of Lini's treatment.

Speaking to TNM, her husband, Sajeesh, said that Lini had been quite disturbed after Sadik passed away. "She died doing her duty, and when I hear people appreciate her commitment to her work, I feel proud of her. She did her duty without hesitating and showed 100% commitment to what she did,” he said.

The couple has two children, aged two and five.

Razan Al Najjar, the other person mentioned in Campbell’s tweet, was a 21-year-old paramedic who was killed by Israeli snipers in Gaza. She shot to global fame when she decried how the medical profession was dominated by men.

On June 1, as she ran forward to help a wounded demonstrator, a sniper aimed at her and killed her.

Salome Karwah from Liberia was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2014 for helping the country’s fight against the deadly Ebola virus.

She contracted the virus, but miraculously survived, even as it wiped out most of her family. She then enrolled with the Médecins Sans Frontières unit outside Monrovia to help patients of Ebola. After taking care of hundreds of patients, she passed away in 2017 due to some complications after she gave birth to her child.

Read: 'Lini was doing her duty': Spouse of Kerala nurse, who died treating Nipah patient

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