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UAE philanthropic ear surgeon wins Ofid award

The Director-General of the Opec Fund for International Development (Ofid), Suleiman J Al Herbish, announced Dr Mazen Al Hajri as the recipient of the 2011 Ofid Award for Development.

The award was announced on the sidelines of a series of high-level meetings conducted between the Director-General and Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs of the United Arab Emirates and other government officials, regarding the upcoming 32nd Annual Session of the Ministerial Council of Ofid which will be held in Vienna, Austria, on June 16 in which Dr Al Hajri will be presented with the award.

Dr. Al Hajri, a UAE national, is a pioneer in the field of ear, nose and throat medicine. He is particularly well known for his charitable work, and has performed countless cochlear implant operations on Palestinian children, who have suffered hearing damage. Dr Al Hajri is renowned in the Middle-East healthcare arena and is widely recognised amongst his peers for his dedication in operating on children and training surgeons in Gaza.

Al Herbish said the award was in recognition of Dr Al Hajri's tireless efforts in promoting and enhancing the health conditions of deaf children in Gaza. The Director-General added that such efforts were in accord with Ofid's mission in scores of developing countries around the world and that "Dr Al Hajri's aim to lift people's condition through the provision of healthcare is at the core of Ofid's mandate."

Dr Al Hajri thanked Ofid for the recognition and said that the money would be used to further assist various programmes that renew hope for deaf children. He stated that working with medical communities in Palestine strove to provide Palestinian children with a better life and greater prospects for a sustainable future.

The Ofid Annual Award for Development was instituted in 2006. It carries a prize money of $100,000. Dr Al Hajri stated that this amount will be donated to conducting surgeries on deaf children in Gaza.

Over the last 35 years, Ofid has provided more than $126 million in assistance for 404 operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. All operations have been implemented through partnerships with international and regional development organisations and over 77 Palestinian NGOs in the West Bank and 119 NGOs operating in the Gaza Strip.

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