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Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco awarded by WHO for work in fighting cancer

Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco, wife to King Mohammed VI, has been awarded the gold medal of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for her work in fighting cancer throughout the world.

The WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Mahmoud Fikri, presented her with the award on Thursday in Morocco’s capital of Rabat.

WHO Director-General Margareth Chan told XinhuaNet that Her Royal Highness was given the award due to her “her sincere efforts in the battle against cancer.”

The Princess, described by many Moroccans as a “humble and true princess,” is the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Promotion of Cancer Prevention and Care, as well as the Chairwoman of the Lalla Salma Foundation for Cancer Prevention and Treatment.

The Lalla Salma Foundation for Cancer Prevention and Treatment, a non-profit organisation, was created in 2005 to “to improve patients’ care, to promote prevention and to make of the fight against cancer a public health priority in Morocco and the region,” according to the North Africa Post.

Its goals are to set up a national plan in the African kingdom that will be dedicated to fighting cancer and utilising the best clinical practices. The North African Post explained that it aims to do this through the implementation of a “strategy using an innovative and participative approach adapted to the specificities of the country.”

The now 39-year-old Princess Lalla Salma married King Mohammed in 2002. Together, they have two children: Moulay Hassan, Crown Prince of Morocco (b. 2003) and Princess Lalla Khadija of Morocco (b. 2007). Born Salma Bennani in Fez, she was the first wife of a Moroccan king to be given a royal title and publicly acknowledged.

She is known to represent the Moroccan Royal Family at various events including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. She holds foreign honours from Belgium, Spain and Senegal.

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