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  • Volume 68 , Number 4
  • Page: 474

Professor He Daxun 1930-2000

Zhao Tian en


It is with the deepest grief that we pay great respect to the memory of a senior leprosy expert, Professor He Daxun. Professor He died of cardiac disease at 22:15 hours on 2 August 2000 in Beijing, China, at the age of 69, after failing to respond to meticulous medical treatment.

Professor He was born in 1930 in Chang-sha, Hunan Province, China. He graduated from Tongji Medical University, China, in 1955. Upon graduation, he went to work at the Institute of Dermatology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and engaged in leprosy control. In 1977 Professor He was sent to the Jiangqu Leprosy Hospital of the Tibet Autonomous Prefecture with his wife. As a senior leprosy expert, he carried out the leprosy training course, developed epidemiologic surveys of leprosy, and provided a lot of careful guidance to local doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy. He worked in Tibet for more than 7 years, and the leprosy control of Tibet was greatly improved due to his hard work.

In 1985, Professor He returned to Beijing and assumed the directorship of the National Medical Institute of Information, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, until 1988. During these years, he also studied at Maryland University and New York State University as a visiting scholar in the U.S.A. Several of the medical magazines edited by him greatly increased the informative exchange between China and other countries.

In 1988, he was appointed by Dr. Ma Haide as the vice-president and secretary-general of the China Leprosy Association. Until August 2000 he remained in that position. During these years under the lead of the Ministry of Public Health, he often joined the national leprosy control program and showed a genuine interest in both leprosy patients and his colleagues. He worked under very difficult conditions where his devotion to duty became patently obvious. Professor He always went to rural leprosy-endemic areas to carry out epidemiologic surveys, to pay attention to leprosy rehabilitation, especially for patients with deformity or disability, and to guide implementation of WHO/MDT. He was one of the leading teachers during national training courses.

Professor He's footprints were left in the United States, The Netherlands, India, Thailand, The Philippines, Korea, etc., where he went to develop and strengthen cooperation in leprosy control between China and these countries in the struggle to eliminate leprosy.

In 1999, Professor He was appointed the chief-editor of the China Journal of Leprosy and Skin Diseases. Although he was in very poor health, through his hard work the journal has become one of the important magazines in China.

Because of Professor He's outstanding contribution to leprosy control, he was awarded the "China Advanced Worker of Leprosy Control" by the Ministry of Public Health in 1998.

Professor He devoted most of his professional life to leprosy control, and his industrious, dutiful, conscientious, intelligent and selfless spirit has set a good example for all leprosy workers. I salute him as a very loyal colleague. His contributions and friendship have been much appreciated by all who worked with him. The memory of Professor He Daxun will last forever.


- Dr. Zhao Tian'en

China Leprosy Association
Shandong Provincial Institute of Dermatology and Venereology
Jinan, Shandong
Peoples Republic of China

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