Lord Ara Darzi of Denham received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, in recognition of his contributions to global health and the development of medicine in Japan, the website of the Imperial College of London says.
Darzi is a prominent Iraqi-British, ethnically Armenian doctor and Labour politician.
One of the nation’s oldest and highest national decorations, it is awarded by the Emperor of Japan to non-Japanese citizens who have made outstanding contributions to their field.
Lord Darzi said: “It is a great privilege to receive this honour from Japan, a country I hugely admire.”
Lord Darzi has served as Director of the IGHI since 2010 and has transformed the Institute with a focus on driving innovation in healthcare. His career has focussed on achieving best surgical practice through innovation in surgery and enhancing patient safety and the quality of healthcare.
He is globally renowned for leading the development of minimally-invasive surgery, as well as pioneering the development of robotic techniques to facilitate medical operations. Through this field of work he has worked to enhance the scientific partnership between Japan and the United Kingdom with his involvement with a number of academic institutions and the Ministry of Health.
Lord Darzi hosted the first Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety at Imperial in 2016, which placed patient safety high on the global agenda. In 2018, Lord Darzi opened the third summit in Tokyo, hosted by the Government of Japan, and ministers signed the Tokyo Declaration committing to “high level political momentum” towards the delivery of safer care everywhere.
Lord Darzi has previously been recognised for his efforts in global health, having been awarded the Qatari Sash of Independence in 2014 by His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani , and the Order of Honour by the President of Armenia in 2017.
Lord Darzi is the Executive Chair of the World Innovation Health Summit, an initiative dedicated to capturing & disseminating the best evidence-based ideas and practices in global healthcare.
In 2002 he was knighted for his services to medicine and surgery he and has been a member of the House of Lords since 2007. He served as Labour minister of health from 2007-9. Lord Darzi served as the UK’s Global Ambassador for Health and Life Sciences from 2009-13. In 2014 he was awarded the Order of Merit by the Queen.
Recently, Lord Darzi helped negotiate the release of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar, who had been held since December 2017 after they reported on the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.