10 October 2016 SATVI mourns the death of Professor Maurice Kibel
SATVI has learnt with sadness that Emeritus Professor Maurice Kibel has passed away after a period of illness. Prof Kibel was an icon and pioneer in paediatrics in South Africa, establishing the Child Health Unit in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in 1979. He was regarded as a great paediatrician, as a visionary and leader in child health, who led the Child Health Unit into a new era, impacting research, teaching and policy on child health. “He was a brilliant teacher and clinician and an inspirational and deeply humble human being – an extraordinary man,” says Head of Department Prof Heather Zar.
Prof Kibel was also associated for many years with the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) through its early clinical trials in Worcester since its establishment. He was very supportive in getting the trial site started, mentored a number of clinicians at the site and was actively involved in a number of clinical trials, in particular the first BCG trial that compared percutaneous versus intradermal BCG vaccine, one of the largest conducted to date at the site. Many will recall him continuing to work on campus long after his retirement, giving selflessly of his time to teaching, caring for and contributing to the health of those children and families who are most disadvantaged. His work touched the lives of many children. His example and legacy lives on in the generations of health care professionals, whom he taught and influenced. In 2013, the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health presented him with a Lifetime Contribution award for his dedication and outstanding contribution to child health over a lifetime. He was also well-known for his witty ditties - lyrics to well-known tunes - immortalised in a book sold to many an alumnus and colleague. Some will recall his performance in the Faculty quad to an appreciative audience of students and colleagues at our centenary celebration bash on 6 June 2012.