Dr. Nimrod O. Bwibo, a tireless advocate for child health and well-being and considered the father of pediatrics in Kenya, passed away on September 28, 2013. Born in rural Kenya in 1932, Dr. Bwibo received his medical training in Uganda at Makerere University. He received a master’s degree in public health specializing in maternal and child health from the University of California, Berkeley, and training in pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco and the University of Washington. Further training in pediatrics was received at the University of London, Institute of Child Health and the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street Hospital. Dr. Bwibo was a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a Member of the Royal College of Physicians, London (Hon).
In 1971, Dr. Bwibo returned to Kenya as the first founding chair and professor of pediatrics at the University of Nairobi, Faculty of Medicine in 1967. He was one of the founding members of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health there. He trained and mentored hundreds of pediatricians in Kenya, an activity which he continued up to the end of his life. He was the chairman of the Department of Pediatrics from 1972 to 1982, dean of the University of Nairobi Faculty of Medicine from 1973 to 1975, and later served as the first principal for the College of Health Sciences from 1985 to 1989.
Dr. Bwibo served as a member of multiple national committees for child health and well-being. He was active in research and served as the Kenya principal investigator and a co-investigator in several nutrition intervention studies of maternal and child health in rural Kenya in cooperation with national colleagues and colleagues from the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Hawaii, and the University of California, Davis over several decades. His work included investigating rickets, jiggers, polio prevention, and animal source foods as a food-based approach to addressing multiple-micronutrient deficiencies and protein quality in rural African mothers and children. Dr. Bwibo has published widely in pediatric and nutrition journals in Kenya, Great Britain, and the United States.