UNITE FOR CHILDREN-- UNICEF

Press Centre 2009/09/24: General Information

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman on the death of Professor Ihsan Dogramaci

NEW YORK, 25 February 2010 - UNICEF is saddened to learn of the death in Ankara today of Professor Ihsan Dogramaci, a leader who dedicated his life to improving the rights and welfare of children.

A paediatrician by profession, Professor Dogramaci was both a man of science and of deep humanity. For the past half century, he has played a key role in global efforts to improve child survival, in particular as a staunch and vocal advocate of immunization, breastfeeding and baby- friendly hospitals.

Ihsan Dogramaci in Children's Hospital in Sarajevo

In 1992, alongside the former Executive Director of UNICEF, he led a convoy of trucks to besieged Sarajevo to provide Bosnian children with essential supplies, and pressed for a ceasefire that allowed the distribution of medicine and clothes to children in that besieged city.

Such ceasefires are now known as Days of Tranquillity.

Professor Dogramaci served as President of UNICEF’s Executive Board from 1968 to 1970, and was Chairman and Honorary President of the Turkish National Committee for UNICEF from 1956 until his death. In 1995, UNICEF presented Professor Dogramaci with its highest honour, the Maurice Pate Award, in recognition of his tireless efforts for children around the world.

With his passing, the world’s children have lost a great champion and UNICEF has lost a steadfast friend.

UNICEF expresses its deepest condolences to his wife, Ayser, and his children Sermin, Ali and Osman.

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