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Ex-Portugal leader and Namibia doctor win UN Mandela prize

Former Portugal president and Namibian eye surgeon win first UN Nelson Mandela prize

Ex-Portugal leader and Namibia doctor win UN Mandela prize

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Portugal's former president Jorge Sampaio, who helped restore democracy to his country, and Namibian ophthalmologist Helena Ndume, who has helped over 30,000 people receive no-cost eye surgery, have been chosen as the first winners of a new United Nations prize.

The U.N. General Assembly established the prize in June 2014 to honor South Africa's first black president who was instrumental in the struggle to cast off apartheid in the country and died in December 2013. It recognizes the achievements of those who dedicate their lives to the service of humanity by promoting the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

General Assembly President Sam Kutesa announced the winners Monday, saying they had been chosen from more than 300 nominees.