9 June 2023

Florence Nightingale Medal awarded to Master of Disaster Management alumni

Rikke Dalsted

We are extremely proud of our disaster management alumni - Rikke Dalsted who was awarded The Florence Nightingale Medal. The Florence Nightingale Medal is awarded to individuals who have shown exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or disaster, and/or a pioneering spirit in the areas such as public health.

Here is a note from Rikke Dalsted on the medal:

Professionally, I am a certified nurse, sociologist, hold a Ph.D. in Public Health, and a Master of Disaster Management. I have worked internationally in several different contexts with local NGOs and organizations such as MSF, ICRC and IFRC in countries as Nepal, South Sudan, Libya, USA, Sierra Leone, and Kenya.

I am very honoured and to be honest a little surprised to be awarded a medal for what I think is one of the most fundamental things to work for. Throughout my life, I have been driven by a curiosity towards the importance of health in different cultures and situations, and how it is possible to provide access to healthcare for the most vulnerable in armed conflicts, in natural disaster and for those forced to migrate. Today many people do not have access to health care, and I hope to make a difference by giving my time and skills as well as I can. What I do in my current position with the Danish Red Cross (DRC), as head of the Red Cross Health Clinics for Undocumented Migrants, is in many ways the same as when I was working with the ICRC establishing clinics in South-Sudan on both sides of the armed conflict. Here I just take the Metro rather than a helicopter. It is about providing health for those, who cannot find it elsewhere, and securing a safe space for all to get treatment.

My diverse educational background and national as well as international experience is a valuable tool, when doing this sometimes-tedious work for the most vulnerable. One day I have figured out how to fix the broken water pump of a dentist’s chair, the next I have cake with the local police authorities or discuss social media policy with DRCs communication department while scheduling rosters for 300 volunteers.