Remembering Gerard O'Brien

Monday, 30 Oct 2017
It is with great sadness that we write that our colleague Gerard O’Brien passed away suddenly on 16th October following a brief acute illness.

Earlier this year Gerard became Team Leader for a flagship UK Aid programme for strengthening the health sector across the whole of Nepal, working closely with the government and a range of organisations. His dedication to this programme has ensured it set out on strong foundations. The team he led in Nepal and all the colleagues involved in this work, while devastated by his passing, will honour his legacy through the delivery of this important programme.

Gerard was an outstanding team leader who worked extensively with ministries and departments of health in a number of countries across Africa and Asia.  Focusing on health system strengthening throughout his career, Gerard made significant contributions to the development and implementation of an emergency obstetric and neonatal care certification programme for health facilities in Botswana, strengthening provincial and local government capacity in the Philippines to implement national health sector policy reforms and Schistosomiasis Control in China.

Krishna Sharma, Deputy Team Leader for the NHSSP programme said;

“Gerard came to Nepal in March 2017, at the time when we were looking forward to kicking off NHSSP-3. The time was very challenging with a new team structure, including building relations with DFID and the Nepal government and the team members.  He was a quiet person but had very good insight to manage the challenges. He was able to understand many things quickly and was able to manage things within very short period of time.   He respected and listened to others and was polite to colleagues.  Under his leadership we worked together to submit the programme inception report, and worked day and night to satisfy the requirement of the DFID. Unfortunately we could not rejoice the official approval of the inception report with him and move forward with programme implementations. He will always be remembered as a dear Team Leader by all staff of NHSSP, DFID team and Government Counterparts and will remain part of the programme as we go ahead with implementation.”

All of us at Options in London and the team in Nepal are deeply saddened by our loss.

Our thoughts go out to his wife Allison and two sons Rory and Cameron, and his friends.

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