Dr. Derrick B. Jelliffe, a UCLA professor who was internationally recognized as an expert on public health and nutrition, has died. He was 71.
Jelliffe died Wednesday of a heart attack.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Jelliffe. He was a distinctive international health leader and a warm, caring humanitarian who endeared himself to people everywhere in all walks of life," said Dr. Abdelmonem A. Afifi, dean of the UCLA School of Public Health.
"He was a noble statesman for those less fortunate," Afifi said, "and his contribution to global health care stands as a monument in his memory."
Jelliffe, a staunch advocate of breast-feeding--particularly in developing countries--was recruited by the UCLA School of Public Health in 1972 to develop its division of population and family health.
He also was founding director of UCLA's international health program, established in 1990. The program, which evolved from Jelliffe's lifelong interest in international health and education, trains public health specialists to handle problems in undeveloped nations as well as changing health conditions in the United States.
Educated at the University of London, Jelliffe was the founding editor of the Journal of Tropical Pediatrics and Advances in International Maternal and Child Health. He and his wife, Patrice, lecturer and associate researcher at the UCLA School of Public Health, lived and worked in developing countries for 24 years and together wrote or edited 22 books directed at nurses and midwives.
Jelliffe established east Africa's first child health and pediatrics department at Makerere University in Uganda. He also served as a consultant to UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the National Academy of Science and other health-promoting organizations.
His awards included the Rosen von Rosenstein Medal from the Swedish Pediatric Society, the Wihuri Foundation International Prize in Finland and the Gopalan Medal from the Indian Society of Nutrition.