Dr Aly Tewfik Shousha (1891 - 1964): Paying tribute to a WHO founding father
Dr Aly Tewlik Shousha, was one of the founders of the World Health Organization (WHO) and served for eight years as the first Director of its Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office. Born in 1891, he received his degree in medicine from Berlin University in 1915 and subsequently specialized in bacteriology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He returned to Egypt to work as bacteriologist at the Public Health Laboratories in Cairo where he became Director-General in 1930 and was later appointed Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Health. He was responsible for organizing the campaign against the cholera epidemic in Egypt in 1947 and was instrumental in significantly minimizing the resultant mortality
Dr. Shousha was a member of the Technical Preparatory Committee of WHO that met in Paris in 1946; took part in the International Health Conference in New York that drew up the WHO Constitution; and was designated to serve at the Interim Commission of WHO. Following the official establishment of the organization, Sir Aly T. Shousha Pasha - as he was then titled - was elected Vice-President of the First World Health Assembly and Chairman of the Executive Board (1948-49). Dr. Shousha was appointed Director of the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean in1949 and held this position until his retirement in 1957. He continued to devote much of his time and energies to WHO as a member of several Expert Committees and as Advisor for special assignments.
In 1966, the Dr. A.T. Shousha Foundation was established in his memory as the first WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. An annual prize is awarded by the Foundation to persons contributing to improving health in this region. The Foundation also established the Dr. A.T. Shousha Fellowship to assist health professionals from the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region in obtaining postgraduates degrees in public health.