President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, awarded Professor Kypros Nicolaides with the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III, which is the highest order of merit awarded by Cyprus.
In his speech at the ceremony in the Presidential Palace, President Anastasiades said that this award is the minimum token of recognition and appreciation of Dr Nicolaides for his valuable contribution to science, humanity and society, adding that this highest honour is usually awarded to heads of state and government, and only in exceptional cases to distinguished personalities with a significant contribution to the Republic of Cyprus or to humanity.
“Taking into account the invaluable contribution of Professor Kypros Nikolaides in the promotion of the health sector and especially in the field of fetal medicine, I decided that the only worthy honour to the world-renowned scientist was to award him with the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III,” the President said.
He added that Dr Nicolaides devoted his long scientific career against perinatal mortality, while he set the goal of investing in research, and educating the next generations of physicians.
Regarding his contribution to Cyprus, the President stressed the significant cooperation of the Fetal Medicine Centre with the Gynaecology Clinic of the Makarios Hospital.
Receiving the award, Dr Nicolaides said that he sees this great honour as a token of love and support to doctors around the world who have devoted their lives to the service of women and newborn babies, to those who do not accept the tragic reality that every minute, a woman somewhere in the world loses her life as a result of pregnancy or childbirth complications, and that the vast majority of these deaths can be avoided.
He added that this honour constitutes a challenge for him to continue his work for training doctors around the world and for promoting the research in the field of fetal medicine.
Dr Nicolaides said that although he has lived in England for the last 50 years, no matter how many years pass, his roots are in Cyprus and he is proud to be a Greek Cypriot, half from Pafos and half from Varosha.
As a doctor, Nicolaides has dedicated his life to fetal health, developing pioneering research and clinical programmes for prenatal diagnosis and treatments and inextricably linking his name to numerous breakthroughs in diagnostics, including of the Down Syndrome, which Anastasiades said was recognised a leading medical discovery of the past 30 years.
Through his work in medical schools and scientific publications he has helped advance prenatal medicine and opened up the horizons to the revolutionary sector of fetal surgery, the president added.
Nicolaides has helped promote accessibility to these breakthroughs with the establishment of the non-profit Fetal Medicine Foundation in 1995 which has invested millions in research and training, and offered scholarships to doctors worldwide, among other. He was also instrumental in setting up the Fetal Medicine Centre at Southend University Hospital while his research institute financed the establishment of the Fetal Medicine Research Institute of King’s College University Hospital.