Milton Margai was a Sierra Leonean physician and politician who graduated from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 1936. Born on December 7, 1895, in Moyamba, Sierra Leone, Margai is best known for his role in the country' independence movement from Britain and for his contributions to the field of public health.
After completing his medical training in Liverpool, Margai returned to Sierra Leone and worked as a government medical officer, where he focused on improving the health and wellbeing of his fellow citizens. In 1949, he became the first African to be appointed to the Legislative Council, which was responsible for governing the colony of Sierra Leone.
In 1951, Margai formed the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), which became the country's leading political party. He was elected as the country's first prime minister in 1961, when Sierra Leone gained independence from Britain. During his time in office, Margai focused on improving education, healthcare, and infrastructure in the country, and he is credited with laying the foundation for Sierra Leone's future economic development.
Margai's contributions to public health were also significant. He recognised the importance of community-based healthcare and established a network of community health clinics throughout Sierra Leone, which provided essential medical care to people in remote areas. He also established a training program for midwives and initiated a national vaccination program, which helped to reduce the incidence of deadly diseases such as measles and smallpox.
In recognition of his achievements, Margai received numerous honours, including a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 1956. He passed away on April 28, 1964, but his legacy lives on in the many lives he touched and the progress he made towards improving the health and wellbeing of his fellow citizens. As an alumnus of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Milton Margai will always be remembered for his contributions to public health and his tireless work in promoting the development of his country, Sierra Leone.