Monday, 20 November 2017

Prof. Gottlieb Lobe Monekesso Dies At 89

Professor Gottlieb Monekosso, one time Minister of Public Health from 1997-2000 has died. He died at the Douala General Hospital in the afternoon of Sunday Nov, 19th, 2017, after a protracted illness.

An Anglophone from Dibombari in the Littoral Region of Cameroon, Prof. Gottlieb Lobe Monekosso was born on Nov, 13, 1928 in Douala Cameroon. He obtained his primary and secondary education in Lagos, Nigeria and studied medicine at Guy’s Hospital Medical School of the University of London, England (1948-53).  He then went to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and after house appointments at Guy’s Hospital went on to the then new University College of Ibadan. 

Following various appointments in East and West Africa and the West Indies he returned home to Cameroon to head the newly created University Centre for Health Sciences in Yaounde which he led for a decade through to 1979.

From 1980-5 he was the World Health Organisation representative in Jamaica with responsibility for the sub-region of the northern Commonwealth Caribbean countries.  He was then elected to the post of WHO Director for Africa, completing two five-year terms of office from 1985-95. During this period he was a member of the WHO executive management in Geneva and gave technical advice to 46 countries in Africa, the Organisation for African Unity and UN Economic Commission for Africa.
He returned home in 1995 when he founded Global Health Dialogue, a foundation devoted to the health and welfare of young people with a headquarters in Buea and the International Dialogue Centre in Kribi which he still runs.  However in 1997 he was appointed  Cameroon’s Minister for Public Health, a post he held until 2000.
In a lifetime devoted to health Professor Monekosso has been active in clinical, laboratory and field research on endemic diseases especially tropical neuropathy; the adaptation of teaching programmes to community health needs; and the organization of healthcare delivery in university centers, district hospitals and at community level. 
He has taught a couple of generations of health professionals active in East, Western and Central Africa, has held several honorary positions around the world and has published a number of books and over 100 papers in the scientific and health literature.
Retired but not tired, he continued to oversee the work of Global Health Dialogue and was engaged, among other projects, in advising the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the Sub-Saharan Africa Medical Schools Study (SAMSS) before his health grew weak and got him bed ridden.
May his gentle soul Rest in Peace

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