FILE - Egyptian British surgeon Magdi Yacoub - Courtesy of Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation
CAIRO – 27 February 2020: The Creators Union of Arab, an Egyptian NGO that has a special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council, has nominated Egyptian-British heart surgeon Magdi Yacoub for the 2020 Nelson Mandela Prize.
The Cairo-based union also nominated Sheikha Shamma al Nahyan from the United Arab Emirates, considering Sheikha Shamma and Yacoub as being “leading figures in the field of humanitarian action”.
Yacoub was among the first three surgeons to perform an open heart surgery in Nigeria in 1974. In 1986, he was part of the team that developed the techniques of the heart-lung transplantation at the National Heart and Lung Institute.
He also led a British research team at Harefield hospital in 2007, aiming to grow a part of the human heart using stem cells. These efforts were all exerted in order to overcome the shortage of heart transplant donations.
The United Nations has asked the union of Arab creators to nominate two for the award, to be a man and a woman.
Union's chairman Ahmed Nour said the body has unanimously decided its nomination of Dr Magdi Yaacoub for his great role in serving humanity around the world, describing him as a source of “pride to Egypt and the Arab world”.
The other nomination was made for Sheikha Shamma al Nahyan for her role in humanitarian action, he added.
Earlier in February, Mohammed bin Rashid, the ruler of Dubai and the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, honored renowned Egyptian-British surgeon Magdy Yacoub with the “scarf of Mohammed bin Rashid for humanitarian action” for his charitable efforts and medical and scientific achievements.
Mohammed bin Rashid also announced raising donations totaling EGP 360 million ($8.17 million) for Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Center in Egypt's Aswan, on the sidelines of the Arab Hope Makers event in Dubai, according to Egyptian state's news agency MENA.
MENA contributed to the reporting