Alumna Hannele Häggman is a senior health officer at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, Switzerland. She is responsible for the health of 300 international humanitarian aid workers and their family members in 70 delegations around the world, and in the event of emergencies, liaises with the assistance companies on medical evacuations.
Hannele has a background in surgical nursing and intensive care. She graduated from the MSc in Disaster Relief Nursing in 2002 and is currently studying for her PhD at USW.
"My mother was a nurse. She always told me that it is not an easy profession, but she never regretted her choice. Neither have I.
Nurses make a big difference in the health of populations all over the word. It is a great profession and I’m proud to be one of them.
Being in the first group of MSc graduates in Disaster Relief Nursing (as it was called in 2002) was a proud moment.
But I am also proud of each person in our care who is looked after as well as possible, whether it has been in the hospital, on the ferry, during ambulance flight, disaster deployments or helping our aid workers.
I’m currently doing my PhD on the occupational health care of humanitarian aid workers.
Today you can have a career in humanitarian aid work, but there are no global health guidelines for workers. My aim is to create global minimum standards.
I would love to see my research implemented into the everyday life of aid workers. I hope it will improve the occupational health of those doing important work in various disaster settings."