TRIBUTES have been pouring in for Nigerian medical doctor Augustine Obaro who passed away on New Year’s Day after succumbing to complications when he contracted the dreaded coronavirus during the course of his work as a general practitioner.
Highly respected, Dr Augustine Obaro, who worked in Walthamstow, in east London, died suddenly after a short battle with the virus. He was described as generous and respected and is believed to have taken the Covid death toll among UK general practitioners to 16.
Dr Obaro, 63, was a father-of-four and had been working at the Addison Road Medical Practice in Walthamstow since 2004. He was completing his postgraduate education to become a general practice trainer when he fell ill.
Colleagues said he was well known for his charity and out-of-hours work with Waltham Forest GP Federation. Patients posted tributes on social media, describing him as a great doctor, who provided wonderful care.
Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CGC) chair Dr Ken Aswani said: “This is a tragic loss of a highly -respected front line health worker.”
Dr Obaro qualified as a doctor at the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria in 1984 and came to the UK in 1999 to train as a GP. He had worked in east London for almost two decades.
He leaves a wife, Elizabeth, and four sons, Raphael, Charles, Osebi and Christopher. Raphael said Dr Obaro was a wonderful father and the most giving person I know.
Before the pandemic hit, Dr Obaro returned with his wife to Nigeria every year to volunteer and help improve healthcare in his home village. NHS Havering CCG chair Dr Atul Aggarwal said: “His death is a tragic loss to our GP community.”
Most of the general practitioners who have died have been black and as a priority, the British Medical Association has called for frontline heath staff to be vaccinated. With a vaccine now available, a mass vaccination programme is expected to commence soon.