Friday, 10 November 2023

In the final week of October 2023, the Shriners Children’s team, including doctors, nurses, and staff, carried out their annual visit to Cyprus. The George and Thelma Paraskevaides Foundation has consistently been instrumental in enabling these visits. During their stay they assessed over 150 children, primarily from Cyprus, but also from Egypt, Lebanon, and Greece, all of whom were facing severe orthopedic challenges and coral spine abnormalities.

The collaboration between Shriners Children’s and the UNIC Medical School provided a unique opportunity for UNIC medical students. They not only witnessed clinical evaluations but also facilitated Greek and Arabic live translations for the patients’ families and the Shriners medical team. In addition, medical student volunteers assisted the Shriners Children’s research team in collecting data from patients and their relatives for the Genomics and Precision Medicine Project. This project aims to understand the role of genetics in conditions such as orthopedic concerns, coral spine damages, metabolic bone diseases, and post-burn complications. Targeting 5,000 participants aged 4 to 18, the initiative involves patients treated at Shriners Children’s Hospitals both within and outside the U.S. In Cyprus, the project is run in cooperation with the UNIC Medical School.

This year, nursing students also had the opportunity to attend training sessions at Makarios Hospital, led by Shriners’ nursing experts.

Highlighting the academic strength of this collaboration, two Shriners surgeons delivered the Annual Shriners Children’s Presentation to the university community, covering treatment options for Pediatric Spine Conditions and the role of orthotics and prosthetics in Pediatric Orthopedics.

Since 1982, the Shriners have examined more than 18,000 children in Cyprus. Notably, for the first time in 42 years, surgeries were performed in Cyprus, eliminating the need for previous travel to the U.S. for these procedures.