Dr. Hussein Abdel Razzak Al Gezairy

Arab World Awards

Hamdan Award for honoring distinguished personalities from the Arab World
2009-2010
Personal Details/Academic Background
Born in the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia in 1934, Dr Hussein Abdel Razzak Al Gezairy graduated with a medical degree from Kasrel-Eini Faculty of Medicine in Egypt in 1957, then a Diploma in Surgery in 1960. Subsequently, in 1965, he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) of England. He then joined the staff of the University of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, following which he undertook postgraduate studies in surgery in London, obtaining the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1965. Upon his return to Saudi Arabia, he established, in 1969, the first Faculty of Medicine in King Saud University in Riyadh and became its founding Dean.
 
 
Professional Milestones
 
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to health and medical education he was appointed as Minister of Health in Saudi Arabia in 1975, a position he held for seven years. Under his leadership, three other medical faculties were established, fulfilling the medical education needs of Saudi Arabia. As a Minster of Health, Dr. Gezairy led the expansion of national primary health care services through the establishment of a large number of PHC centers in addition to 35 hospitals.At the international level, Dr Gezairy participated in the establishment of the Council of Arab Ministers of Health, an important organ of Arab League Institutions. He was also one of the founders and the first President of the Supreme Council and Executive Board of the Arab Board for Medical Specializations that works for raising the standards of medical education and quality of health services.
Dr. Gezairy was elected as the WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region for the first time in 1982.In this position since then, he has become the leading figure in the promotion of medical education with particular emphasis to Community Oriented Medical Education and leadership development for health.
He has received several honorary and scientific memberships of societies like President of the Saudi Red Crescent Society (1975-1982), Member of the Board of the Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University (1985 onwards), Honorary Fellowship of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Karachi, Pakistan, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Organization of Medical Sciences, Member of the Higher Steering Committee of the Pan Arab Project for Child Development, Member and first president of the Supreme Council of Arab Board of Medical Specializations (CABMS), Honorary Fellowship of the Sudanese Council for Medical Specializations, as a founder of this board, Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom, Glasgow, June 2001, Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scientific Society, Jordan, September 2006, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Lebanese German University, April 2008, and Honorary Fellowship of the International College of Surgeons, September 2009.
Some of the major new initiatives introduced under the stewardship of Dr. Gezairy and successfully applied include the development of the Prototype Action-oriented School Health Curriculum; a series of booklets about Religion in Health Education and the notion of one Trained Birth Attendant per village or city quarter.
 
 
Public Services
 
Dr Gezairy has promoted and fostered close working relationship with international and national partners in health and the development sector, notably with UNICEF through regular meetings with the Regional Directors of UNICEF and heads of other regional and international agencies to advance the cause of health and development of the population in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
Dr. Gezairy has been a driving force behind disease control and elimination of major communicable diseases in the Region. These include the eradication of Dracunculiasis or Guinea worm, leprosy elimination as well as Polio Eradication which is on the verge of global eradication.
Dr. Gezairy has been a strong advocate of sustainable development approaches being facilitated by Basic Development Needs, Healthy Cities and Healthy Villages initiatives. By alleviating poverty and promoting better quality of life, these initiatives provide a common and sufficiently attractive goal for inter-sectoral action and strong community partnerships. Under his leadership, WHO has also made major contributions for Environmental Health as well as enactment of legislation and quality control of pharmaceuticals and blood transfusion. 
He has also been in the forefront for anti smoking campaigns including Tobacco-Free Initiative well before the issue assumed a global significance.
His commitment is reflected from the fact that the Regional Office’s building was the first among all WHO regions that was declared as smoke-free. Dr Gezairy enjoys high esteem among his peers for his commitment and forceful advocacy for improving the health and wellbeing of the under privileged populations. His distinguished legacy and achievements is bound to effect the future directions of public health interventions inside and outside the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
He was the first President of the Supreme Council of the Arab Board for Medical Specializations.
 
 
Awards and Recognitions
 
• King Abdul-Aziz decoration, Grade II, Granted by His Majesty King Khaled Bin Abdul Aziz in 1975 
• Leopold II Medal (the Grand Ornament), Granted by His Majesty the King of Belgium in 1975
• State Knight Decoration, Grade II, granted by His Majesty Sultan Haj AhmadShah, King of Malaysia in 1982
• Independence Decoration Grade I, Granted by His Majesty King Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in1990
• The Lebanese Health, Golden Medal for Merit, Grade I, awarded to him by the President of Lebanon in 1993
• The First Grade TWO-NILES Medal, awarded to him by Omar El Bashir, President of Sudan in 1997
• Honorary Doctorate from Gezira University of Sudan in February 1994
• Honorary PhD degree in Surgery from Shendi University of Sudan in1997
• Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from Khartoum University of Sudan, Khartoum in 2000
• The Lebanese Medal of Merit, First Rank, awarded by the President of Lebanon in 2001
• Honorary Degree of Doctorate of Sciences (D.Sc.) from Baqai Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan, 2001
• National Medal of Merit, First Rank, awarded by the President of the Republic of Djibouti, 2003
• Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam, awarded by the President of Pakistan, 2003
• Medal of Order of Recognition, awarded by the President of the Republic of Yemen, 2003
• Global Achievement Award, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, 2004
• Poliomyelitis Eradication Champion Award by Rotary International, 2005
• Government Medal of Ghazi Mullah Mushk-e-Alam, awarded by His Majesty Mohammad Zahir Shah, Father of the Nation and Former King of Afghanistan, 2006
• Commander of the National Order of 27 June, awarded by President of the Republic of Djibouti, 2006
• Alexandria University Award of Appreciation for Regional Leaderships, 2007
• The National Cedar Medal, Rank of Knight, awarded by the President of Lebanon, 2007
 
 
Considering his commendable work over the decades in the field of medical education and development of healthcare services in the Arab world and working towards enhancing cooperation to raise the quality and services of healthcare in the underdeveloped and developing countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region, Dr. Al Geziry deserves the Hamdan Award for Distinguished Personalities from the Arab World.
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