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Egypt's Doctor of the Poor spent his life assisting those with next to nothing Egypt's Doctor of the Poor spent his life assisting those with next to nothing  (©Olga - stock.adobe.com)

Tributes paid to Egypt’s ‘Doctor of the poor’

A man known in Egypt as the “Doctor of the poor” has died at the age of 76. Dr Mohammed Mashally spent his life treating the poor for a minimal fee.

By Nathan Morley

Mohammed Mashally enjoyed legendary status in Egypt, having pledged he would never take a penny from the poor and destitute.

It was a promise he kept, as he attended the sick at his clinic in northern Egypt where, after years of 15-hour days, he became known as “Doctor of the poor”.

As a rule, he charged a few cents per visit, but those suffering extreme poverty often received consultations and medication at no cost whatsoever.

Determined doctor

Mashally specialized in epidemiology, internal medicine, and paediatrics, having graduated from medical school in 1967. From there, he worked at several countryside clinics before opening his own practice in Tanta.

His work was of such wide interest in Egypt that his thoughts, experiences and beliefs were often featured on television programmes and in the press.

Such was Mashally’s determination that even as his health deteriorated over the past year, he continued to work.

He died earlier this week, having suffered from circulatory collapse, according to doctors.

Held in high esteem

Paying tribute, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayyeb, described him as a symbol of humanity who “chose to help poor and needy patients until the last day of his life.”

Such was the high esteem Mashally enjoyed that the public came out in force to pay their respects at his funeral.

The crowds that assembled to bid farewell included many of his patients.

29 July 2020, 14:41