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David Morley

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 08 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3633
  1. Andrew Tomkins

    Champion for child health in poor countries

    David Morley saved the lives of many thousands of children in developing countries and made massive contributions to improving their health and development. When David qualified in medicine in 1947 more than one in four children in developing countries died before their fifth birthday. As a young doctor in a mission hospital in Nigeria, David challenged the assumption that children’s main treatment should come from hospitals. He established the basis for primary health care for children, which is now used by governments and agencies worldwide. He set up training courses for senior paediatricians and nurses from all over the world, supported by Unicef and the World Health Organization, reorienting their work. Through the charity he established David sent educational materials to many thousands of frontline workers.

    David was born in 1923 in Northamptonshire, the youngest of seven children. He was schooled at home and later went to school at Haywards Heath and then Marlborough College. David studied natural sciences at Clare College, Cambridge, during which time he published papers on the sensitivity of different bacteria to penicillin. David qualified in medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, and worked at the Sunderland Children’s …

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