'Legend' in fight against TB dies

18 January 2021 - 10:46
By Nivashni Nair
Dr Iqbal Master was at the forefront of treating tuberculosis.
Image: Supplied Dr Iqbal Master was at the forefront of treating tuberculosis.

A “veritable legend” in the fight against tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, Dr Iqbal Master, has died.

The SA Association of Hospital and Institutional Pharmacists (SAAHIP) confirmed his death on Sunday.

KwaZulu-Natal coastal chairperson Kirtan Kasiram said Master was always at the forefront of treating “this monster of a disease”.

“Working hand in hand with many health care professionals, his goal was always clear.

“His approach to end TB was always with calm and careful insight, endlessly working on up-to-date research at the heart of the TB pandemic in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Dedicating his time at King Dinizulu Hospital, he was unequivocally the goal standard adviser on best practice in TB management,” Kasiram said.

Together with  former SAAHIP KwaZulu-Natal coastal chairperson Dr Nirupa Misra, Master had achieved “so much to make the immense task of ending TB a real and possible goal”.

Kasiram said: “Dr Master never turned down an opportunity to train pharmacists and other health care professionals. He inspired pharmacists in many talks and in training to understand TB and find our role. Always looking at the pharmacist with equality and as an integral part of the solution.”

“A most genial and humble professional, always with a smile on his face and a joke to lighten the mood of the room, he served with dedication and overflowing passion. Always available, always pleasant. A true stalwart of our health care industry.”

He said Master’s absence would leave a huge void.

“Today, a true leader had fallen, but I hope the work he accomplished so tirelessly will live on in all he trained and educated and the many with whom he served.

“On behalf of SAAHIP KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, our deepest condolences and sincere blessings to his family and loved ones.

“I would also like to express our gratitude to a doctor who inspired us by always putting the patient first, by serving his profession remarkably and who made the impossible possible.”

He said Master had once said: “Our job is to do more than administer drugs. It is to restore hope during their darkest hours.”