Category Archives: Pioneers

Professor Ahmed M. Elhassan

My home town: Berber

Berber is a town in the Nile state of northern Sudan, 35 km north of Atbara, near the junction of the Atbara River and the Nile.
The town was the starting-point of the old caravan route across the Nubian Desert to the Red Sea at Suakin. Roads also connected it with other parts of Sudan.
The first line of defense against the Ottoman Empire occurred in this city.
Berber Ancient History: With a Canadian Archaeologist excavating  in Dangail near Berber where a temple of Amun was built by order of the queens of old Meroitic Period.

EL Khalwa 1936: This is the story of how I joined the Khalwa

The First Year Elementary School 1937: Here I saw the first white man: A. B. Theobold. I met him later in life under different circumstances.
Berber intermediate School 1940 -1944: Distance learning 1942. I started a correspondence course in Psychology with Dr. Mohammed Fayik Al Gawhary 66 Skakini St. Cairo.
Wadi Siedna class-mates EL Tayeb Salih (famous writer) and Ibrahim EL Salahi ( famous artist)
Kitchener School of Medicine.
Basic science with Dean Morgan, Graduated 1954

Some international activities

Many WHO activities in medical education and research. Important among these is membership of STAC for TDR for several years and membership of EMRO advisory research committee
AMANET founding member
Visiting professorship in several universities
Establishing department of pathology ing Faisal University Dammam SA.
Membership of TWAS

Working in the field

Leishmaniasis and leprosy field work Gedarif State: 1989 to date
Field Research in Gadarif State Under Trees Shades 20 Years.
A tribute to Prof EL Hadi Anterior Uveitis
Work in Mycetoma: A tribute to the pioneers: Mr. Ibrahim EL Maghraby, Prof. E S Mahgoub, Prof. Samia A Gumaa, Prof. Fahal.

Field work in Mycetoma

Started by Prof ES Mahgoub and Samia Gumaa and continued by A. H. Fahal who developed the Mycetoma Research Centre at Soba working on mycetoma: from the field to the molecular and genetic levels.
The centre has been recognised internationally.
In year 2010 Fahal has been asked to contribute a chapter on Mycetoma in Bailey & Love text book of Surgery. This is great recognition.
Ahfad University

My relation with Ahfad goes back to the 1970s.
With late Dr. Yousif Bedri we worked together in the Philosophical Society and the Sudanese Society for the Advancement of Science.

Ahmed_Mohamed_El-Hassan_his_life_and_work (written by: Professor Ahmad Safi)


Professor Taha Ahmed Baasher

Professor Taha Ahmed Baasher Formerly Regional Advisor on Mental Health,World Health Organization Eastern Mediterranean Region Taha was born on 2 June 1922 in Sawakin, the historical Red Sea port in Sudan. He graduated from Kitchener School of Medicine, Khartoum, in 1949 with Distinction and a prize in anatomy. He worked as a general practitioner in various parts of Sudan. He was then granted a scholarship to study psychiatry at the Maudsley. In 1972 he was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. At the age of 35, Taha became Director of Mental Health, Ministry of Health, Sudan (1957-1972), succeeding the late Professor El-Tigani El-Mahi, the father of psychiatry in Black Africa. In 1960, Taha established a walk-in psychiatric outpatient clinic in Khartoum North. Between 1960 and 1968 he extended mental health services in Sudan, establishing four regional units. Against strong resistance by some senior clinicians from other disciplines, he managed, in 1965, to establish a psychiatric unit within Khartoum General (Teaching) Hospital, which became one of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) collaborative research centres. In 1969, Taha became Minister of Health. He established El-Tigani El-Mahi Psychiatric Hospital in Omdurman, Khartoum province. Under his leadership Khartoum hosted the World Psychiatric Association Symposium 1966, and the Pan African Psychiatric Conference 1970. The WHO acknowledged his pioneering work that led to the notable achievement of winning cooperation of Islamic faith healers in Sudan, making it possible for people with mental illness to access the modern psychiatric services. As regional advisor on mental health (1972-82) he helped the 21 countries in WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region to develop their national mental health programmes. In 1985, he was invited by the University of Khartoum to take the chair in psychiatry, the post he held until 2007. In 1992, he chaired the council that established the Red Sea University in Eastern Sudan. Taha’s contributions were varied and vast. He was Vice President of the World Federation for Mental Health, member of the Executive Committee of the History of Psychiatry and the World Psychiatric Association, President of the Sudan Psychiatric Association and Secretary General of the Sudan Medical Association (now Sudanese Doctors’ Union). He was a member of the editorial board of the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal, founding member of the Arab Board of Psychiatry, founding member of the Board of the Saudi Arabian DPM (1975) and winner of Arab Ministers’ of Health Prize for Outstanding Achievements (1985). In 1964, in his capacity as Secretary General for the Sudanese Doctors’ Union, he played a pivotal role in the October Revolution that toppled the military dictatorship. The popular forces elected him Secretary for the Trade Union Front that led the transition to full democracy. Taha passed away on 15 June 2008, during treatment in Geneva, and was buried in Khartoum. He is survived by his wife, Saydah, a practising consultant paediatrician, a son, Dr Rashid, and two daughters, Rawya and Ruaa. May God bless his soul.

Ahmed Sirag

Professor ElTigani ElMahi

Tigani El Mahi is one of the famous medical doctors in Sudan. He was born in El Kawa along the White Nile in April 1911. He graduated from Kitchener Medical School in 1935. He joined Sudan medical service and worked in different parts of the Sudan.

In July 1949, Dr. ElMahi was rewarded with a Diploma in psychological medicine, University of London. On return home he founded the clinic of nervous disorders in Khartoum North. It was the first in the whole medical history of the Sudan. By this, he established the foundations of mental health service in the country, which was a monopoly by traditional healers. His devotion and dedication to his profession and patients is clearly detected in his words when he said: “I have spent my life trying to define what is normal”. In another occasion and namely a psychiatry/ medical gathering, he stated “It is abnormal to be normal in an abnormal situation”.

In 1959, he joined the WHO-EMRO as a regional adviser in Mental Health. That was a significant stage in his life. He was invited by several international institutes and universities to lecture in mental health, religion and mental health, traditional societies and magic as a socio-psycho institution.

In 1964, political change in the Sudan brought Tigani ElMahi to be a member of the Supreme Council of the State. In 1969, the University of Khartoum offered him the chair of Psychiatric Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, which he held up until his death. Professor Tigani ElMahi died in the early hours of Thursday morning January the 8th 1970.

Professor Tigani ElMahi has made a significant change in the field of mental health. Today, a major hospital for mental health, a street in Khartoum, a lecture hall in University of Khartoum and his personal library bear his name and stands as a witness to his status and deeds in serving his country.

professor_tigani__el_mahi_short_biography_and_photos (written by: Professor Mustafa Abdalla)

Professor Mansour Ali Haseeb

Historical Perspectives

Professor Mansour Ali Haseeb: Highlights from a pioneer of biomedical research, physician and scientist

Prof_Mustafa_AbdallaMustafa Abdalla M Salih,
International Editor,
Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics


The article highlights the career of Professor Mansour Ali Haseeb (1910 – 1973; DKSM, Dip Bact, FRCPath, FRCP [Lond]), a pioneer worker in health, medical services, biomedical research and medical education in the Sudan. After his graduation from the Kitchener School of Medicine (renamed, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum [U of K]) in 1934, he devoted his life for the development of laboratory medicine. He became the first Sudanese Director of Stack Medical Research Laboratories (1952 – 1962). He made valuable contributions by his services in the vaccine production and implementation programs, most notably in combating small pox, rabies and epidemic meningitis. In 1963 he became the first Sudanese Professor of Microbiology and Parasitology and served as the first Sudanese Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, U of K (1963-1969). He was an active loyal citizen in public life and served in various fields outside the medical profession. As Mayor of Omdurman, he was invited to visit Berlin in 1963 by Willy Brandt, Mayor of West Berlin (1957-1966) and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (1969 to 1974). Also as Mayor of Omdurman, he represented the City in welcoming Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Sudan in February 1965. He also received State Medals from Egypt and Ethiopia. In 1973 he was appointed Chairman of the Sudan Medical Research Council, and was awarded the international Dr. Shousha Foundation Prize and Medal by the WHO for his contribution in the advancement of health, research and medical services.

Key words: Professor Mansour Ali Haseeb; Faculty of Medicine; University of Khartoum; Sudan; Biomedical research; Medical education; Microbiology; Vaccination; Small pox; Rabies; Meningococcal meningitis; Epidemic.

His Publications

Mansour Ali Haseeb (Full Text)

Professor Daoud Mustafa

1974-1975 ProfDaoud M KhalidProfessor Daoud Mustafa, a great Sudanese physician and neurologist, died on 3/6/2008 at his home in Khartoum, aged 90.

Professor Daoud Mustafa was active in both teaching and clinical practice until nearly two years before his death, when he started to ail. His death is a real loss to both the Sudanese and the international medical profession.Thousands of doctors trained under him, hundreds of whom became specialists and professors in medical schools in the Sudan, in the Gulf states, in Europe, (U.K. and Ireland in particular), the USA and Canada.

He supervised postgraduate students for both clinical and research degrees. However, to him medical diagnosis was the most important part of clinical medicine. He was a strong believer in rotation through a broad range of specialties, for trainee registrars, and hands on in clinical experience.

Professor Daoud Mustafa will be remembered by the present generation and many enerations to come for his great deeds in the medical profession.

Below is a summary of his very broad and interesting C.V.:

  • He was born in Tuti Island, Khartoum, in 1917.
  • He had his preliminary and intermediate school education in Khartoum Public Schools.
  • He joined Gordon Memorial College (high secondary school) in 1936.
  • He joined the Ministry of Health and worked in hospitals of several provinces in the Sudan.
  • In 1950 he was sent to the U.K. to be trained for the MRCP (London) which he got in 1953.
  • On his return to the Sudan he was appointed physician to Omdurman Civil Hospital (now the Omdurman Teaching Hospitals (OTH).
  • He joined the Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum in 1958 as a full staff member. In 1963, he became the first Sudanese ever to be the Head of the Department of Medicine in the University of Khartoum. In 1965, he was promoted to the status of full Professor of Medicine, University of Khartoum.
  • In 1967, he was elected as a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London.
  • In 1974, he became the Dean of Faculty of Medicine and the Deputy Vice-chancellor in the University of Khartoum.
  • He was appointed The Emeritus Professor in the University of Khartoum in 1975.
  • Since 1958, he took the full load of a Consultant physician and neurologist in Khartoum Civil Hospital (now known as the Khartoum Teaching Hospital, KTH).
  • In 1985 he founded the unit of neurology in the Shaab Hospital and became its first head.
  • Professor Daoud Mustafa published original research, which appeared in medical journals of very high repute, in the field of kalaazar schistosomiasis, tropical splenomegaly, relapsing fever and neurology.
  • Three big lecture theatres were named after him as a memorial, one in Khartoum Teaching Hospital, the other in Soba University Hospital and the third one in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum (the latter accommodates about 450 persons).

Awards and Prizes:

  • He had been awarded the honourary Doctorate in Sciences by the University of Khartoum in 1988.
  • The Elgomhoria medal in 1978
  • The El Nilein medal in 1989
  • The El Injaz Star medal in 1990
  • Awarded “Martyr Elzubeir Mohamed Salih Prize” for distinguished and excellent scientific achievements for the year 2001.
  • Medal of Sciences and Arts, First Class Arabic Republic of Egypt, had been awarded to him as the Sudan representative on the Medicine Day in Cairo in 1983.
  • Awarded a honourary Doctorate in Sciences by the Gezira University in 1998.

Professor Daoud shall be remembered by the present generation of doctors and patients alike in the Sudan and abroad for his phenomenal virtues of honesty, refined ethical behaviour, commitment, dedication and kindness during his practice of medicine and his sociability. He was one of the most capable physicians, both in knowledge and clinical practice.

May God The Almighty bless him and rest his soul in heaven.

Salih Yassin Salih, Professor of Medicine

Sudan Medical Journal Vol. 44 No. 1, 2 & 3 (Published 2008)

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