Thursday, January 21, 2021

Bob Grose obituary | International improvement

For some individuals, the work they do and the life they lead are in good alignment. My pal and colleague Bob Grose, who has died aged 71, was a type of individuals.

He did traditionally necessary work on HIV/Aids for the World Well being Group (WHO) in Africa, and for polio, HIV and leprosy for the Abroad Growth Administration (ODA, later DfID) in India. Writing for Conflict on Need within the mid-1980s, Bob was one of many first to foretell that truckers can be high-risk vectors for the HIV epidemic in Africa. He was shortly snapped up by the WHO’s International Programme on Aids (later UNAids) in Geneva, the place he labored from 1987 to 1992 as a technical adviser. He was forward of his time, mobilising group teams in Africa to boost consciousness of the epidemic: a spotlight of UNAids to at the present time.

Because the ODA’s senior well being and inhabitants adviser (1992-99), he oversaw a number of large tasks: the eradication of polio (yearly greater than 100 million youngsters have been immunised in a single day); the launch of India’s efforts to fight the HIV epidemic; and the elimination of leprosy. All of those tales have completely satisfied endings: polio has been eradicated in India, HIV is nicely managed and 200,000 individuals have been cured of leprosy on his watch. Bob is remembered by his colleagues there as a consummate skilled, form, wickedly humorous, with an entire absence of ego.

Bob was born in his grandmother’s nursing house in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, to Nicholas, an auctioneer, and Kathleen (nee Rushworth), a physiotherapist, though the household lived in Fowey, Cornwall. He attended Truro faculty earlier than qualifying as a chartered surveyor on the Faculty of Property Administration in Kensington, London. He travelled an excellent deal earlier than doing a grasp’s in worldwide administration at Cornell.

It was in 1983, throughout an early posting to Yemen, that Bob met Jane Springham, who was working as a nurse at a small clinic on the Purple Coastline. They married in 1988.

Bob was decided to boost his younger household close to the Cornish countryside the place he grew up, so in 1999 they moved from India to a farmhouse in Brownston within the South Hams, Devon. Bob spent the ultimate decade of his profession at HLSP, a world well being consulting agency. When he retired in 2014, he grew to become deeply dedicated to local weather activism, and was arrested as a part of Extinction Rebel’s demonstrations in April 2019. The couple moved to Totnes when Jane retired three years in the past.

Bob was fearsomely match. He carried out a seven-minute plank throughout a household lockdown competitors and thought nothing of a 20-mile kayaking journey. In Jane’s phrases, “he died as he lived, biking up a hill on a mountain bike, lined in mud, with a smile on his face. He wouldn’t have needed it another manner.”

His household keep in mind him as “essentially the most extraordinary man to stay with”, a loyal father who wakened each morning inquisitive about one thing new.

He’s survived by Jane and their daughters, Catherine and Eleanor, and by his brothers, Timothy and Richard.

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