It’s funny to think about what people consider a “Badge of Honor” (or honour for all my non-American-English speaking friends). Sometimes it is a visible marking of one’s body. A good number of US Olympic athletes, particularly the swim team, have the Olympic rings tattooed as a symbol of accomplishment and unity as a team. I’m sure the concept came from receiving a literal badge after performing some honorable deed in a law enforcement or combat or something. I tried to look it up but after getting far too many references to TV shows and books I am left in endless curiosity. If anyone knows the origin of the saying please feel free to enlighten us all.
I bring this all up because on the Africa Mercy there is also a “Badge of Honor” worn proudly or sometimes not so proudly around the ship, particularly the wards. Here on the Africa Mercy the “Badge of Honor” worn my many nurses is ringworm [see picture below].
For those of you who are not as familiar with ringworm it is a fungus, not a parasite as the name might imply, that is easily spread by contact. Back in the states it is very common for children to end up with ringworm at some point growing up. Here, many of the children here have visible patches on their scalps. However, this won’t stop the nurses or other workers from picking up a child and hugging him close. An easily treatable infection, ringworm is a small price to pay to cuddle with a sweet child who will inevitably steal your heart.
So yes, many nurses proudly wear their ringworm around the ship showing that they love their patients through any condition.