Special News Item 3/2003


Nursing Council Member – Finalist for Marilyn Lahana Award


Mr Alec Nicholas Alexander, a member of the South African Nursing Council, was the provincial winner and Western Cape finalist for the prestigious Marilyn Lahana Trust Caring Award for 2003.  Mr Alexander is to be congratulated for the hard work and dedication that has led to this achievement.  Well done!


The Marilyn Lahana Trust Caring Award

The Marilyn Lahana Trust Caring Award has been made annually to recognise outstanding members of the nursing and midwifery professions who show a special quality of caring in relation to their patients and colleagues.

The award commemorates Marilyn Lahana, a Johannesburg nurse who died in 1996 after contracting the Ebola virus from a patient.  A number of people felt that Marilyn’s life and death were an example of the selfless spirit of nursing, a profession in which practitioners routinely put their patients’ interests before their own.

The Marilyn Lahana Trust was set up soon after Marilyn’s death and the award was instituted in 1998.  The Democratic Nursing Association of South Africa (DENOSA) administers the award process each year and Discovery Health has emerged as its major sponsor, while Medi-Clinic Hospitals continue to support the Trust.

The award spans both the public and private sectors and seeks to:

Profile quality nursing care by individual nurses.
Acknowledge excellent nursing practice.
Promote a culture of caring among nurses and midwives.
Promote community care and community participation in nursing.

Candidates for the award are nominated by their colleagues.  A finalist is selected for each province and a panel appointed by DENOSA selects the winning candidates from the provincial finalists.

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Alec Nicholas Alexander

Western Cape Provincial Finalist

Alec Nicholas Alexander is an enrolled nurse and health educator.  He has developed high quality programmes in male reproductive health and health education at the family planning unit, Tygerberg Academic Hospital.  With nearly 20 years in this field, he has distinguished himself as counsellor, educator and manager and received several awards.  He has held top positions in nursing organisations and is an elected member on the Nursing Council.  In his community, his involvements include the Christian Alcohol Support Group, a shelter for the homeless in Paarl and a home for older people.


Information in this news item is an extract from The Awards for Excellence in Health Care 2003 commemorative programme.  We acknowledge DENOSA that kindly supplied a copy of the programme to Council.