Experts from a range of specialties reflect on their roles in working towards accessible and effective healthcare with myriad challenges, internationally. Working in countries often hit the hardest by communicable disease, and in conditions that transcend political and national boundaries, these medical professionals made significant contributions to the understanding of endemic and epidemic disease, to improvements in local healthcare, and to a spectrum of national and international research.
One of the first clinical geneticists to specialise in familial cancers, Professor Shirley Hodgson co-authored the first textbook on human cancer genetics, and has worked on several genetic diseases. As the daughter of the renowned geneticist Lionel Penrose, she initially avoided the field and moved somewhat unintentionally from general practice into genetics.
Trained as a statistician, Professor Andrew Nunn started working in the MRC Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases Unit in 1966. He played a key part in the TB research that led to the development of a short-course chemotherapy treatment for the disease. In Uganda, he worked on HIV research in the late 1980s, returning to the UK as a Senior Statistician on multidrug-resistant TB trials.
After graduating from medicine in the UK during the 1950s, Professor Sir Eldryd Parry was seconded to University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria, and went on to hold senior positions in medical universities throughout Africa. He founded the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) in 1988 and introduced the THET and COBES programmes, thereby improving training and retention of medical specialties in Africa. For his contributions to healthcare, he received an OBE and was appointed KCMG in 2011.