[Ip-health] In Memoriam: Fernando S. Antezana Araníbar

Maryam Karga malbang at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 23 05:32:57 PDT 2016

I had the opportunity and pleasure of working with Fernando Antezana while he was at WHO from 1994 to 1998.  He was also active in the area of Essential Medicines in the Americas region even after his retirement.  He was indeed dedicated to public health.  His institutional memory and encouragement will be sadly missed.  May we be able to continue with the legacy that he has left.


> Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 12:18:16 +0100
> From: thiru at keionline.org
> To: Ip-health at lists.keionline.org
> Subject: [Ip-health] In Memoriam: Fernando S. Antezana Araníbar
> I am posting this on behalf of Dr. Germán Velásquez (who wrote the text
> below).
> --
> Fernando S. Antezana Araníbar sadly passed away on Saturday 19 March 2016.
> Born in Cochabamba, Bolivia, he dedicated a large part of his life to
> public health and the cause of developing countries. He was one of the
> founders and advocates of the essential drugs concept initiated by the
> former Director-General of the World Health Organization,  Halfdan Mahler,
> who invited him to work in the Medicines Division of WHO around the time of
> the Alma Ata Conference on primary health care.
> He joined WHO in 1976 and held various positions in the Organization,
> including that of WHO Representative in Guatemala, Director of the Action
> Programme on Essential Drugs, Assistant Director-General and then Deputy
> Director-General before his retirement from the Organization in 1998.
> During this period, he was a key player in WHO’s efforts to improve access
> to medicines and promote the essential medicines concept.  His commitment
> to public health did not stop upon his retirement and he subsequently
> became Minister of Health and Sports of Bolivia from 2003 to 2005 and also
> Chairman of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization in 2006.
> Dr Antezana held several academic appointments, including a Doctorate
> honoris causa from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, and the
> Universidad Del Valle in Colombia. He was also honoured with the Grand
> Cross by King Juan Carlos I of Spain and the Papal Order of Saint Gregory
> the Great.
> He will be remembered as a very kind, humble, honest and softly spoken man
> who worked tirelessly to promote access to medicines as an fundamental
> human right.
> --
> Germán Velásquez
> Special Adviser for Health and Development
> South Centre
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