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Three specialised surgeries by Shriners Hospitals doctors in Nicosia this week

Three specialised and complex surgeries will be performed by doctors of the Shriners International Hospitals in collaboration with Cypriot doctors at the Makarios Hospital, in Nicosia, this week, Health Minister Popi Kanari has said.

Speaking at a press conference held in Nicosia on the occasion of the visit of a group of Shriners Hospitals doctors to Cyprus, she explained, the first operation will take place on Tuesday, 24 October and concerns a neurosurgical incident, while two other operations concerning orthopaedic incidents will take place on Thursday, 26 October.

In her address, the Minister of Health said that since 1981, 4,000 children from Cyprus have travelled to the USA and been operated on or treated for serious orthopaedic conditions at Shriners Hospitals completely free of charge. Furthermore, she noted that over 18,000 children were examined during the annual visits of the medical staff in Cyprus, completely free of charge. 

"Bridging cooperation with Shriners, the examinations and treatments of thousands of children, the completely free services, the specialised operations, would not have been achieved if it were not for the George and Thelma Paraskevaides Foundation," the Minister of Health pointed out.

Furthermore, she focused on the cooperation agreement signed by the State Health Service Organisation (SHSO) with the Shriners Hospitals in collaboration with the George and Thelma Paraskevaides Foundation on October 2, 2023, aiming to provide optimal and specialized care to patients.

Kanari said that this year, as part of this collaboration, for the first time, 3 specialised and complicated surgeries will be performed by the doctors of Shriners International in collaboration with Cypriot doctors at the Makarios Hospital, in Nicosia. The first operation will take place on Tuesday, October 24 and concerns a neurosurgical incident. Two other operations involving orthopedic cases will take place on Thursday, 26 October, she added.

Also, the team of doctors who visited Cyprus will examine and provide their expertise both to children from Cyprus and to children from neighbouring countries, Kanari said, noting that last January, in addition to the 300 children from Cyprus, children from Greece, Romania, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt were also examined.

On her part, SHSO's Operations Director, Irini Prokopiou, said that the agreement promotes the exchange of medical expertise in areas such as orthopaedics and paediatric orthopaedics. Specifically, as she said, it includes - among other things - specialised and complex operations by Shriners and SHSO doctors in SHSO hospitals, the exchange of best practices and the exchange of research, teaching and clinical staff.

Medical Director of Makarios Hospital, Dr. Christos Minas, pointed out that the signing of the memorandum of cooperation marks a new beginning so that children in need of orthopaedic and neurosurgical procedures can be examined and operated on here. Makarios Hospital, he added, is ready to provide specialised staff to deal with such incidents.

Director of the George and Thelma Paraskevaides Foundation, Costas Paraskevaides, pointed out that "this year is an important step in the realisation of our vision for providing high-level medical services to the children of Cyprus and neighbouring countries." He added that the aim of the Foundation is to offer more treatments to more children.

James Ed Stolze, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Shriners Hospitals, spoke of "a historic moment not only for Shriners Hospitals but also for the Paraskevaides Foundation as well as for Cyprus. Now the region will be cared for locally without anyone having to travel to the United States. "Without the vision of the Paraskevaides Foundation, none of this would be happening today," he emphasised.

Finally, neurosurgeon Amer Samdani, on behalf of the Shriners Hospitals medical team visiting Cyprus, said that the team will care for and see more than 150 patients and perform several surgeries this week. "We will provide the best possible care and look forward to furthering this collaboration," he noted.

(Source: CNA)

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