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Azerbaijan's Minister of the Diaspora visits the "Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA" Children's Oncology Unit

On Tuesday 9 July 2013 at noon, Azerbaijan's Minister of the Diaspora, Mr. Nazim Ibrahimov , his wife Mrs. Minaya Ibrahimova , and their children Ε lnur and Kamala visited the "Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA" Children's Oncology Unit, where they were welcomed by the President of the "ELPIDA" Association of Friends of Children with Cancer Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis and the Director of the Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital Mr. Emmanuel Papassavas .

The purpose of the Azerbaijani Minister's visit was to become acquainted with the "ELPIDA" Association's work and to sign, together with the Association's President, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, a Memorandum   of Collaboration between the "ELPIDA" Association and the Nizami Ganjavi International Center , an international center based in Ganja, Azerbaijan, of whose Administrative Committee Mr. Ibrahimov is a member.


As stated in the Memorandum, the two institutions will collaborate in cultural and scientific fields in order to create a world in which children will be able to grow up in a healthier and peace-loving environment.

This collaboration is part of the Twinning Program with pediatric hospitals outside Greece initiated in 2013 by the "ELPIDA" Association and aims to promote a scientific dialogue and the exchange of knowledge regarding the treatment of childhood cancer and thalassaemia between the "Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA" Children's Oncology Unit and the Baku Thalassaemia Center.

"Your presence in our hospital," said Mrs. Vardinoyannis, as she welcomed ELPIDA's guests, "is a great honor for us, since it illustrates your sensitivity and concern for the children who are waging the difficult battle against cancer... I'm deeply moved that Azerbaijan, a country with a great history and a promising future, has forged such close bonds of friendship with Greece over the years, that today, thanks to the kind support of the Chairman of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Nazim Ibrahimov, we are creating a new road towards a world that will ensure better living conditions for children... The First Lady of Azerbaijan, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva , visited our guest house in the past and gave gifts to the children and courage to their parents, and we discussed with her the prospect of a collaboration between our Association and the Baku Thalassaemia Center of which she is the Chairwoman, since this medical center, as you know, deals exclusively with the treatment of thalassaemia... Our aim is to give the opportunity to the Center's medical staff to work with distinguished medical institutions abroad, with a view to creating an international scientific network, which will research childhood cancer and finally vanquish it..."

Mrs. Vardinoyannis then invited Mr. Ibrahimov to place the Azerbaijani flag on the Peace and Hope map and presented him with an honorary plaque in acknowledgment of his contribution to the work of "ELPIDA".  

Mr. Ibrahimov thanked Mrs. Vardinoyannis warmly for the honor she bestowed upon him and expressed his admiration for her work and her personality: "It is very moving to see that Mrs. Vardinoyannis manages all these issues with love for the children, and I believe that successful people know that, by taking care of children, they are taking care of the future of humanity. As a politician, I come in contact with many politicians and important figures, but my contact with Mrs. Vardinoyannis makes me place her above all these people. I am sincerely impressed and I would like to thank Mrs. Marianna Vardinoyannis personally and on behalf of my family for the important work she carries out. I feel honored and privileged to meet such a person up close. Thank you for inviting us and allowing us to see and understand these issues. We're happy that there is a collaboration between Mrs. Vardinoyannis and the First Lady of Azerbaijan. And, as a parent, I'm glad that my daughter seems impressed by the cause served by ELPIDA. "

This collaboration aims at the twinning of the Oncology Hospital and the Thalassaemia Center, which is supported by the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and First Lady of Azerbaijan, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva , and constitutes yet another definitive message of cooperation between the two countries.