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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

versión On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versión impresa ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.99 no.4 Cape Town abr. 2009




Nagin Parbhoo (MB BS, FFA (SA), MD)




Nagin Parbhoo passed away peacefully in Cape Town on 21 January 2009 after a long illness. He was born in Wynberg Village, Cape Town, in May 1942, matriculated at Livingstone High School, and received a Government of India Scholarship for Medical Studies to study medicine at Grant Medical College in Bombay.

On his return to South Africa he worked in Port Elizabeth, first at Livingstone Hospital and later as a general practitioner with a special interest in anaesthesia. He subsequently specialised in anaesthesia at the University of Cape Town (UCT), obtaining the FFA (SA) in 1983, and became a specialist on the staff at Groote Schuur Hospital. From 1987 he was in private practice in Cape Town, while retaining links with Groote Schuur Hospital as a part-time senior lecturer until 1995.

Early in his anaesthetic career he developed a keen interest in historical aspects of anaesthesia and subsequently contributed much time and effort in collecting and researching old anaesthetic equipment. The Department of Anaesthesia, UCT, honoured him in March 2000 by naming this unique collection, which is housed in the department, The Nagin Parbhoo Museum of Anaesthesia.

Throughout his career Nagin contributed much time and effort to the wider aspect of professional life. He played an important role in the affairs of the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists (SASA) both locally, where he served as Western Cape Branch Chairman in 1990, and nationally as Councillor. In 1987 Nagin was invited to be the Society's Honorary Archivist and in this capacity he authored the Society's history in a publication, Five Decades - The SA Society of Anaesthetists 1943-1993. This book was launched at the Society's Jubilee Congress and has been widely distributed locally and internationally.

In 2002 Nagin was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Medicine by UCT for his thesis The Department of Anaesthesia, UCT 1920-2000. A History.

The South African anaesthetic fraternity owes a great deal to Nagin for the legacy he left through his meticulously researched history of the development of anaesthesia at UCT, Cape Town and South Africa.

Family life was a priority in Nagin's life. He is survived by his three daughters, Anita, Lavina and Shakila, to whom we extend our sincere sympathy.


Peter Gordon

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