Officials from Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), family members and others who were touched by the life of the departed paediatrician Dr Peter Kazembe turned up in large numbers at a memorial service held in his honour on Thursday.
The renowned pediatrician, who was also the brains behind the book A Paediatric Handbook for Malawi christened ka-Kazembe in the paediatric circles, succumbed to cancer on Tuesday this week at a South African hospital.
In his eulogy, Kazembe’s son, Mwayi explained that their father, who died just before his 66th birthday, lived a full life.
KCH hospital director Jonathan Ngoma said Kazembe’s contribution to paediatric care in the country will be missed.
“Our hearts are filled with sorrow. Our giant has left. Peter [Kazembe] gave his life to the betterment of the country,” he said.
Echoing Ngoma’s sentiments, Principal Secretary for Health, Charles Mwansambo, described Kazembe as a committed and selfless paediatrician, and that Malawi has lost a great man.
“At a time when specialists were on demand elsewhere, he decided to leave Canada and come back to Malawi, which shows how great and selfless he was as a person,” he said.
The fallen paediatrician pursued his undergraduate medical training at the University of Manchester in England and subsequently his paediatric training at the University of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children in Canada.
Before heading Malawi’s first stand-alone pediatrics HIV clinic, Kazembe was the chief of paediatrics at KCH.
He is survived by a wife and three children.