Lives of the fellows

Amin Ahmed Abdo Nasher

b.5 September 1945 d.28 March 1990
MRCS LRCP(1968) MB ChB Birm(1968) DTM&H(1969) DCH(1973) DTCH(1973) MRCP(1973) FRCP(1987)

Amin Nasher was born in Aden. He came to Britain to study medicine and received his undergraduate medical education in Birmingham. He graduated in June 1968 and the following year he acquired the diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The timing of his arrival in Liverpool coincided with developments in the School in the field of tropical paediatrics and child health, and Amin Nasher was one of the earliest and most illustrious candidates on the course for the new diploma in tropical child health. In 1973 he added this diploma to the DTM&H before returning to the Yemen.

On his return to his native land he became one of the most ardent and energetic activists to improve paediatric care and promote child health. As head of the medical and paediatric unit at the Al-Gamhouria Hospital, Aden - later to become the teaching hospital and medical school - he set about improving administration and health care delivery services, and undertook needed and useful research on subjects that ranged from sickle cell anaemia and nutritional anaemia, asthma, congenital heart disease and tetanus, to analysis of children’s outpatient attendance at hospital and the cost of hospital pharmacological services. His work, though hospital based, extended widely into the community for his primary objectives were the provision of good medical care and the promotion of health in the population.

It was inevitable that his unique talents and extraordinary energy would find application first at national and then at international level. Nationally, he became immersed in the promotion of medical education at all levels in society and he played a key role in the development of the medical school. He served for a time as Deputy Minister of Public Health. Internationally, he won the confidence of foreign governments and inter-governmental organizations like WHO and the World Bank who supported many of his activities and utilized his services frequently as an adviser and consultant on many health related matters.

He became a force for the promotion of service, education and research into health in the Arab world and held office as president of the Central Corporation for Scientific Research and as Technical Adviser to the Minister of Health. He was the founder and editor of the Yemeni Medical Journal and also established Community Doctor which is published in Arabic. In July 1987, in recognition of his outstanding and distinguished services to tropical medicine, Amin Nasher was awarded the John Holt medal of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. This was a double ‘first’ as the medal had not previously been awarded to a paediatrician, nor to anyone born in a developing country.

In 1989, ideas which Amin Nasher had nurtured for many years came to fruition when the Cabinet of the Yemen PDR passed a degree to upgrade the institute for the training of all non-medical health personnel in Aden (established with the help of WHO in 1971), which became the Higher Institute for Health Sciences. Amin Nasher was nominated as head of the Academic Council of the new Institute. The Institute of Health Sciences provides post-basic training leading to Bachelor and Masters degrees in community health, nursing and related health sciences. Training programmes are oriented towards primary health care and the development of leadership and management skills.

One of his last initiatives, shortly before his untimely death in a road accident, was to request the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to become affiliated with the Higher Institute of Health Sciences and cooperate in its development. Amin Nasher was held in great respect and affection by everyone who knew him His academic and professional credentials were impeccable and were combined with a natural graciousness and charm that invited friendship and cooperation. He was determined to do all in his power to improve health at the grass roots of society, and to promote teaching and research in developing countries in general and in the Yemen in particular; to reach standards comparable to and respected in the western world, while preserving all that is noble and best in the Arab world into which he was born.

Amin married Linda Mohamad in 1971 and they had four children, three daughters and a son. He is survived by his wife and young family, whom he cherished and from whom he drew inspiration and support. His relaxation outside medicine lay in reading and tennis. The world can ill afford the loss of men like Amin Nasher at any time, but especially at a time when events are in progress which will shape the destiny of mankind in the next century and beyond.

R G Hendrickse

[The Lancet, 1990,335,1211]

(Volume IX, page 384)

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