b.7 August 1949 d.21 February 2004
BSc Edin(1970) MB ChB(1973) DTM&H(1978) MRCP(1978) FRCP(1954)
Nicholas Mark Hone was head of the department of medicine at the regional hospital, Francistown, Botswana. He was born in Belize (then British Honduras), the son of Sir Evelyn Dennison Hone, a diplomat who became the last governor of Northern Rhodesia (which gained independence as Zambia in 1964). His mother was Helen Joy née Mellor. The family settled in England when Hone was 14. He was educated at Wellington College, and then the University of Edinburgh, qualifying in 1973.
He held a house physician post at Eastern General Hospital, Edinburgh, and then decided to return to Zambia, to work at St Francis’ Hospital, Katete, a large, 300-bed hospital in a rural area. In 1977 he went to the UK, as a senior house officer at Birch Hill Hospital, Rochdale. During this period he passed his diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene, together with his MRCP. He then returned to Zambia, to St Francis’ Hospital, as a physician and deputy medical superintendant.
After 12 years in Zambia, he took at post in the Gulf, and then spent 18 months in Taiwan, at St Mary’s Hospital, Taitung.
From 1989, he was head of the department of medicine at Nyangabgwe Hospital, Francistown, Botswana. There he developed an efficient cardiac service, complete with echocardiography and ultrasound facilities, and made regular outreach visits to district hospitals. He also began to deal with increasing numbers of patients with HIV-related problems, which became the commonest cause of death in the department. A special unit was established to look after the more seriously affected patients, and Hone started a prototype programme for treating patients with retroviral drugs. He was on the committee that developed treatment protocols for nationwide use. He became involved in the Harvard AIDS study, and was increasingly in demand at international AIDS meetings.
He wrote papers on malaria, childhood malnutrition, HIV-related deaths and tuberculosis, among other topics. He was a member of the executive council of the Medical and Dental Association of Botswana and, from 1991, editor of the association’s journal. With Botswanan and Kenyan colleagues, he established a private clinic in Francistown.
Outside medicine, he was involved in a bridge group, enjoyed bird-watching, took flying lessons and gained his pilot’s licence.
In 2002 he became unwell and was diagnosed with a cerebral glioma. He had surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and eventually returned to the UK, where he died. He was unmarried.
[Brit.med.J., 2004 329 296]
(Volume XII, page web)
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