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On-line version ISSN 1806-9304
Rev. Bras. Saude Mater. Infant. vol.12 no.2 Recife Apr./June 2012
G. J. Ebrahim (1932-2012)
The son of Indian parents, Professor G. J. Ebrahim, or Zef, as he like to be called, was born in Tanzania on 2nd April 1932. He was a Pediatrician, Professor Emeritus of The Institute of Child Health at London University and Partner Emeritus of the Instituto de Medicina Integral Professor Fernando Figueira (IMIP). He died at home in Farnham, Surrey (United Kingdom), surrounded by his family on 28th March 2012. He would have reached 80 years of age on April 2nd, the Remembrance Day at IMIP he established in tribute to those who have contributed to making this instituition IMIP what it is today. His last message was read during the ceremony.
Married to Dr. Sunny Ebrahim, GP, with whom he had two daughters, Kamila and Niloufer, also doctors, G. J. Ebrahim had a brilliant career, with 8 Postgraduate Degrees, 61 Original Papers Published, 101 Editorials and 4 Commissioned Papers. He is the author of 21 Books, 3 in CD format and with free access on the internet, as well as 9 Book Chapters. He was examiner on the boards of innumerable doctorates, masters and Medical Societies, both in the United Kingdom and abroad. He carried out 49 consultancy projects for various international agencies in 20 countries, including Brazil for IMIP, where he became a great friend of Prof. Fernando Figueira, founder of the Institute.
Throughout his career, he held several posts such as Coordinator of Postgraduate Courses, Chair of The Institute of Child Health and Director of Pediatrics at the Hospital for Sick Children, all at London University.
Zef played a key role, demonstrating exceptional courage and integrity, in the unethical marketing issue and the Nestle lawsuit.
Prof. G. J. Ebrahim's relationship with IMIP began at The Institute of Child Health at London University, where from 1979 he was professor and supervisor of Masters dissertations to a group of doctors from IMIP, including Paulo Mendonça (1979-1980), Vilneide Braga Serva (1983-1984), the greatly missed Anecy Rosa (1989-1990), Isabela Samico (1993-1994), Antônio Carlos Figueira, Gláucia Guerra and Roberta Falcão (1995-1996), José Vilarim and Felipe Lorenzato (1996-1997).
This relationship bore countless fruit that began with the arrival of Prof. Ebrahim at IMIP in 1988. Numerous visits (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1996) followed, with the support of a Technical Cooperation Agreement established between IMIP and The British Council in 1988. During these visits, Prof. Ebrahim trained various members of IMIP in subjects related to women's and children's health, research methodology and information technology for research. During these visits, he debated the possibility of IMIP becoming a Postgraduate Health School with Prof. Fernando Figueira, who became a great friend. It was this idea that culminated in the creation of the IMIP Masters in Mother and Child Health, the first in Latin America, set up with his support in 1993.
Even after the termination of the Technical Cooperation Agreement with The British Council, Prof. Ebrahim maintained his regular, luminous visits to IMIP: in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. As a consequence of his 1997 visit, the Postgraduate Diploma in Urban Health was set up, again the first in Latin America, inspired, guided and supported by Prof. Ebrahim. A third important feat was the IMIP Doctorate, launched in 2006, complementing the already established Postgraduate Health School.
It's certainly worth mentioning his important action in founding The Brazilian Journal of Mother and Child Health in 2001, a periodical sponsored by IMIP, now indexed in 13 international scientific databases and with IMIP as Editorial Consultant since then.
As well as being both mentor and idealizer of great achievements at IMIP, Prof. Ebrahim maintained his work as supervisor of various Doctorate theses, Masters dissertations and final monographs from the Diploma in Urban Health. It was Prof. Ebrahim who introduced information technology as a tool for education in health at IMIP.
He wrote five books directed towards the work of IMIP and that he dedicated to the Institution: Scientific Methodology, Scientific Methodology in Mother and Child Health, Nutrition in Mother and Child Health and Nursing for Urban Health (to be used at Pernambuco Health Faculty FPS). The 5th book; Pediatric Practice, Social and Community Pediatrics and Health Care in Developing Countries was directed towards the teaching of medicine at the Pernambuco Medical School. To commemorate the graduation of the first group of medical students in 2011, the book was sent in CD format to all the teaching institutions in Brazil.
Throughout his career, Zef was tireless in supporting and believing in IMIP's potential. All these achievements were possible only because Zef found fertile soil in the form of Prof. Fernando Figueira, his personal friend.
Dra. Vilneide Maria Santos Braga Diégues Serva
Coordinator of the Breast Milk Bank and IMIP Breastfeeding Incentive Centre (BLH/CIAMA/IMIP);
Tutor of the Medicine Course at the Pernambuco Health Faculty (FPS);
Professor of Pediatrics of the Medicine Course at Pernambuco State University (UPE).