Dubai: The health fraternity in UAE has expressed sadness over the demise of Dr Mahmoud Al Fikree, regional director for World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region.
Dr Fikree, who held this post since February 1, 2017, was on his way to a Non-Communicable Diseases Conference in Montevideo, Uruguay, when he breathed his last.
Dr Fikri became Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the WHO in February after working in various capacities in the UAE Ministry of Health since 1995.
The World Health Organisation tweeted the news on Tuesday: “It is with great sadness we announce the death of Dr Mahmoud M Fikri, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region.”
Dr Fikree, who was advisor to the Minister of Health, also worked as undersecretary for preventive medicine and health policy affairs for 18 years at the Ministry of Health and Prevention from 1995-2013.
His former colleagues and friends paid tributes to him.
Dr Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for medical practice and licensing sector at the health ministry, described him as a conscientious doctor dedicated to humanity. “Dr Fikree was a dear friend for the last 30 years; we worked together at the health ministry. He was an honest, humble and compassionate man. He had a generous heart. I am going to miss him a lot and my heart goes out to his grieving family. May God bless him eternally.”
Dr Ebrahim Galadari, Professor of Dermatology and Vice-Dean of Medicine at the UAE University, described Dr Fikree as a childhood friend and confidante: “Dr Fikree and I were the closest of friends. We studied together at the University of Cairo, graduated together and since both of us chose the same field — dermatology — we often met. He joined the health ministry whereas I chose academics but we often travelled together to conferences and shared ideas. He was like a brother to me. I just met him two weeks ago at the Dubai airport and am finding it difficult to believe that he is no more. My heartfelt condolences to the entire community of friends and family grieving for him. He will always be remembered as a friendly and wise man who contributed so much to the cause of humanity.”