21 December 2020

The Department of Health joins the international medical and academic fraternity as we mourn the passing of a South African pioneer of Obstetrics and Gynaecology- Professor Hugh Philpott.

As an erudite professional in the field of Reproductive Health, he established himself as a leader whose initiatives have been emulated worldwide for the betterment of health service delivery to women and children. His seminal work in establishing the Philpott Chart, and in community based Obstetrics and Gynaecology, has led to many mothers’ lives being saved all over the world and critical advances made in this specialty, which is such an important socio-economic determinant.

At a commemorative breakfast hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, celebrating “Living Legends” of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Professor Philpott made the following extraordinary remarks: “Every still birth, and neonatal and maternal death in the province of Natal was my responsibility and concern.”

This is reflective of a professional and man who put people at the centre of his work- driven by compassion and a desire to excel for those he served.

Says the Minister of Health, Dr Zwelini Mkhize, “we dip our banner as we remember a life well lived, that has contributed so much to the well being of our women and children who hold the future of this country in their hands. Professor Philpott’s legacy will continue to reverberate well into future generations.”

May he rest in eternal peace, and may his family, colleagues and loved ones find comfort in the gratitude we all share as a nation and the global village for Professor Philpott’s invaluable  contribution to the health and wellbeing of women and children.

Issued by the National Department of Health