Reporter 424, 5 October 1998


Obituary for Dr Peter S V Cox

It came as a great shock to learn that Peter had died suddenly and unexpectedly at home on 25 June 1998 at the age of 70. He and his wife, Liza, had not long returned from a strenuous visit to their son in Nepal, and Peter had seemed in the best of health.

Peter qualified from St Thomas' Hospital Medical School and spent 22 years in Africa, at first as a missionary doctor in Uganda and then as a government medical officer in Kenya. Throughout that time he worked in particularly underdeveloped areas and what he accomplished was quite magnificent, terminating in his unusual achievement of obtaining an MD thesis accepted for work done in extraordinarily difficult circumstances. His service in Africa was recognised by the award of OBE.

Following his return to Britain, Peter was enabled to continue his interest in international health through appointment to a Lectureship at the Nuffield Institute and then in the Leeds Medical School, where the Department of Public Health Medicine was establishing a Master of Public Health course for doctors from warm climate countries. His teaching and organisational abilities, together with a great interest in his students' welfare ensured the great success of this course.

Peter also contributed to courses for overseas students at the Leeds Metropolitan University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He had been a consultant to projects in India, Nepal, Uganda, and Ethiopia; was a founding member and secretary of the Leeds Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases Society; and advised many students on their overseas electives. In retirement Peter continued to lecture and supervise dissertations.

The students who passed through Peter's hands will undoubtedly recall the warm hospitality at Liza and Peter's home. Since his death, many of the tributes have referred to their remarkable devotion to the pastoral care of overseas students.

There is little doubt that the principal motive in Peter's life - and Liza's also - is the Christian faith. Peter was an active member of St George's Church in Leeds where he was a regular preacher, house group leader and chairman of the missionary committee.

He will be fondly remembered for his warm personality and the commitment he brought to everything g he undertook.

Emeritus Professor Gerald Richards


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