Intended for healthcare professionals


Tim Lusty

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 14 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1974
  1. Anna Sayburn, London
  1. annasayburn{at}

Leader of Oxfam’s health unit

Tim Lusty was always happiest in the field—whether that was a field hospital in Africa or one on his family farm in Berkshire. As leader of Oxfam’s health unit during the 1970s and 1980s, he inspired his team to develop and produce life saving innovations for disaster and emergency situations, many of which are still in use today. These included water distribution kits, emergency feeding kits, and high energy biscuits for use in famine relief situations, which were widely used in the Ethiopian famine of 1984. In each case, Lusty listened to local people to understand the issues, then found people with the knowledge to develop a workable solution.

“He saw a problem, and for Tim it was a challenge, something that can be sorted. He was a great believer in sharing problems and introducing academic rigour,” said Pat Diskett, his friend and former colleague at Oxfam. He ensured that the team’s innovations were shared and disseminated, creating an evidence base for disaster and famine relief through field handbooks …

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