It is with great sorrow that the sad news of the passing on 20 October of Professor Herbert Gilles was received by the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and most particularly by University of Malta Department of Public Health.
Professor Gilles was a founding member of the Department of Public Health at the University of Malta and set up the Department’s first Masters in Public Health in 1992. In 2011, Professor Gilles was appointed Affiliate Professor at the University of Malta in recognition of his continuing contribution.
Professor Gilles was an eminent world epidemiologist and malariologist, at the forefront in the fight against Malaria and Poliomyelitis. He was born in Port Said, Egypt, educated at St. Edwards College and the Royal University of Malta and lived in Liverpool for much of his adult life.
He worked extensively with the World Health Organisation until recent years, generously contributing to world health until his more mature years.
He was decorated by the Queen in 2005, with the title of Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. He was for many years Professor and also served as Dean of Tropical Medicine at the Liverpool School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Among his many books and publications, one finds the “Short Textbook of Public Health Medicine for the Tropics” co-written with Professor Adetokunbo Lucas. This was first published in 1973 and is still being used by medical students today.
Despite his many awards and global recognition, most will remember Herbert as a kind and humble person with a good word for everyone and very much loved and respected by one and all.
He will be sorely missed in the corridors of the Medical School but his work will live on in the minds and hearts of many.
Our most sincere condolences go to his family and many local friends.