Father Of Sudanese Veterinary Medicine, Prof. Elnazeer Dafa’alla

Father Of Sudanese Veterinary Medicine, Prof. Elnazeer Dafa’alla

By: Yahya Hassan


KHARTOUM (Sudanow) — Professor Elnazeer Dafa’alla scientific, political and social life history is a story of complete fulfillment.

As an outstanding veterinary medicine researcher,  he won very wide acclaim in both his home country and abroad.

That diligent research career had earned him titles of sorts from foreign countries and, further and above, it won him the prestigious title of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Khartoum in the  1960s.

Because of his amiable nature, he was also named Speaker of his country’s parliament (The People’s Assembly) in the 1970s.

Prof. Dafa’alla was born in 1922. He finished his primary, intermediate and secondary education and then obtained a degree in veterinary science from the University of Khartoum which he then coupled with a diploma in tropical medicine from the British Liverpool University in 1950 and another diploma in bacteriology from the Manchester University, England, in 1952. Then he obtained PhD degrees in veterinary medicine from Britain and other countries. He obtained a professorship degree in bacteriology in 1962.

Ceremony held in his honor by Charles University, Czech Republic, he was awarded honorary doctor of biological science and gold medal, 1966

The Offices He Assumed
-Dean Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Khartoum 1958-1962. Then he assumed the office of the University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor.
- He assumed the office of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Khartoum during 1962-1967.
- Speaker of the People’s Assembly (parliament) during 1972-1973
- Chairman of the National Council for Research 1973-1973
-Chairman of North Nigeria’s  Agricultural Research Corporation.
-Minister of Health and Social Welfare 1974-1976 and also Minister of Education and Scientific Research around that time.
- He then assumed the office of executive director of the UN livestock project for North Africa.
During his tenure as the University of Khartoum’s Vice Chancellor, the University saw the establishment of its veterinary hospital, its grand examinations hall and the Afro-Asian Studies Institute.
During his term as vice chancellor, the University also opened up widely towards international scientific institutions, whereby the University received academic recognition from the American Ford and Rockefeller foundations that granted it several  international scholarships.

With Sudanese Prime Minister Ismaeil Elazhary, 1967

As University of Khartoum’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dafa’ala is also remembered to have led the effort for launching the Federation of Arab Universities and its sister, the Federation of African Universities. He headed the latter’s first mandate.
Then he was named by the federation of international universities as Man of Excellence among a group of four African scientists. This group was assigned to lay down the academic criteria for Africa’s university research and performance.
As a veterinary researcher he made a number of discoveries that include the frendid worm that infects cattle.
As a result of his outstanding research in veterinary science, Prof. Dafa’alla was honored by four renowned foreign universities that awarded him honorary doctorates and fellowships.
In Sudan, Prof. Dafa’alla came to be known as The Father of Veterinary Medicine, perhaps an echoing of a similar reported sentiment from German universities he researched with that also published his CV within their almanac of international personalities.

Receives a gold medal from Bolzano Foundation

Sudanese also remember Prof. Dafa’alla as having chaired the Round Table Conference held in 1966 to resolve the issue of war in Southern Sudan.
He is also remembered as the youngest African and Asian researcher to obtain the fellowship of veterinary surgery when he was just 25 years old.
Prof. Dafa’alla is also known to have launched the Sudanese Society for the Protection of the Environment, in collaboration with his fellow scientists Mohammad Abdalla Noor, Mohammad Abdalla Alrayyah and Altijani Hassan Allam.
Prof. Dafa’alla had presented 25 research papers in bacteriology, including the preparation and propagation of important medicines for the treatment of some cattle diseases that won him several patents.


Fellowships, Awards And Honors

-Honors Degree From the British

Royal College for Veterinary surgery- London

-Diploma from The Italian Bolzano Foundation for Research Assessment

-Honorary Fellowship from the Hanover University, Germany

-PhD in Biological Science from Charles University, in Prague, Czech Republic

-Fellowship from Moscow University

-Fellowship from Leningrad University, Soviet Union.

-Fellowship from Saint Petersburg College, Soviet Union

-Member of The General British Bacteriology Association

Prof. Dafalla had won a lot of honors that include: The Order of The Constitution (1973), The Alneelain First Class Order (1975), The Golden Order of Science and Arts (1977), The Egyptian Republic’s Order (1983) and the honorary doctorate in law from the University of Khartoum (1978). 

He also won honorary doctorates and fellowships from Italy, Germany and the then Soviet Union. 

Professor Dafa’alla’s CV was also published in the international Who Is Who list for Africa and the Middle East.

He was also consultant or member of several world bodies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

He died in 1982, God rest his noble soul in peace.


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