Prof. Hasan Aziz
1939 - 2022
Prof. Emeritus Dr. Hasan Aziz - Founder of neurology & trailblazer of epilepsy campaign in Pakistan
With intense grief, Epilepsy Association of Pakistan (ILAE-Pakistan Chapter) and Epilepsy Support Pakistan (IBE-Pakistan full Chapter) announces the sad demise of Prof. Emeritus Hasan Aziz. He passed away peacefully on 14 August 2022. He leaves behind his wife, Dr. Ghazala Aziz, two children, four grandchildren and innumerable students mentored by him, serving humanity locally and globally.
His contributions towards neurology in general, and epilepsy, in Pakistan are voluminous. It was only due to the pioneering and singular efforts of Prof. Aziz, that neurology was accepted as a specialty by the local postgraduate examining bodies. Thus, enabling the specialty to take roots in Pakistan, and the beginning of locally trained and certified neurologists fulfilling a dire need in the country. He successfully placed Pakistan in a prominent position on the ‘international map of epilepsy’ due to his perseverance, along with his small team of neurologists and volunteer citizens.
Formally trained in Neurology in the UK by the luminaries of the specialty; he turned down lucrative offers only to return to his homeland, with a vision and spirit of developing the field of Neurology in Pakistan. On his return in 1969 he joined the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Karachi, Pakistan’s oldest teaching hospital, as an Honorary Associate Physician initially. During his long and illustrious tenure at JPMC, he held various posts, including that of the Professor & Head of the Department of Neurology, Director JPMC, Chairman Academic Council, JPMC and Emeritus Professor of Neurology, until he literally took his last breath. He singularly holds the distinction of being meaningfully associated with a prestigious teaching institution for 53 years.
Prof. Hasan Aziz had a special passion for epilepsy and those affected by it. It was a lifetime challenge for him to bring comfort in the lives of people with epilepsy, and mitigate the stigma of this disease in Pakistan. Ever since 2001, he along with his motivated team, have been vigorously pursuing the agenda of public health awareness of epilepsy, endeavoring to provide near-home comprehensive epilepsy-care facilities, and to train medical personnel in epilepsy management. His dream of establishing an iconic centre for people with epilepsy and providing holistic management with dignity has been fulfilled in the form of National Epilepsy Centre, at JPMC. He served on several commissions, sub-commissions, and task forces of International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE). ILAE awarded Prof. Aziz the “ILAE-Ambassador for Epilepsy Award”, and the “Asian & Oceanian Outstanding Achievement Epilepsy Award” for his unique services towards epilepsy in Pakistan.
Apart from Neurology, Prof. Hasan Aziz played a pivotal role in the development of many other areas of JPMC, including the ‘Obstetrics & Gynaecology Labour and Theatre Complex’ and their ‘OPD Block’; ‘Emergency Operation Theatres’; ‘Medical Unit II’; the ‘Najmuddin Auditorium’, which revolutionized the academic culture of JPMC. He was able to execute these projects by engaging his social contacts to come to the assistance of the poor patients of JPMC, by virtue of the agency of his personal integrity.
He was a true scholar with a deep interest in literature, poetry and classical music/Qawali. His seminal compilation and translation of Sufi poetry in the book entitled, ‘Kalaam-e-Aarifaan’, will continue to give for all times to come, just like all his other projects.
A gentle and caring human being, an excellent teacher, and a mentor par excellence. Even more so, a kind and generous human being, who left a mark on every soul whose life he touched.
By Dr. Zarine Mogal and Dr. Tasnim Ahsan
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