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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 September 15; 335(7619): 569.
PMCID: PMC1976489

Alan Murray Baker

Murray Baker, tropical health administrator and committed Christian, had a unique medical career. He spent his national service time in the Royal Army Medical Corps attached to the 4th Battalion King's African Rifles in Kenya, and then as district medical officer and as principal of the Schools of Hygiene and of Public Health at Mbale, Uganda. In 1964, as the administrative dean of Makerere Medical College, he facilitated its transformation, enabling it to provide large numbers of well trained doctors for an expanded health service in the newly independent East African territories. This was in the context of an exciting period of clinical and epidemiological discoveries which have reshaped many aspects of tropical medicine, such as Burkitt's lymphoma, endomyocardial fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and nutritional disorders. He was then appointed to the Medical Research Council, and later to the Overseas Development Administration. In these appointments his personal gifts were used effectively in the expanding context of Britain's contribution to the health services of Commonwealth countries.

Murray's wit and conversational skills and his care and faithfulness to many friends extended far beyond his professional career into an active retirement associated with family life in Hampstead and Sundridge, Kent, where in both places he and his wife, Betty, were active in parish, community, and cultural life. A service of thanksgiving was held at St Mary's Church, Sundridge, on 30 May. He leaves Betty, two sons and two daughters, and four grandchildren.


Former adviser in tropical medicine and public health East Africa, Medical Research Council, and Overseas Development Administration (b 1926; q Cambridge/St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, 1950; MA, DPH), died from septic shock, almost 20 years after liver transplantation, on 10 May 2007.

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