Obituary: John Dale

Dr John Dale
Dr John Dale

Dr. John Dale MBE (MA, MB, BChir, FFPH, CITP, MIHE) co-founder of AOJA and the Health Centre, died on the 26th November 2009 following major heart surgery.

John was a lovely man with a heart of gold and a great sense of humour. His contribution to medicine in general and to mother and child health in particular is substantial and long-lasting.

He was one of the biggest givers you could ever meet.  He gave of himself unstintingly for one good cause after another and he and Margaret take much of  the credit for inventing AOJA and the clinic.  John’s warmth and enthusiasm were also highly effective at roping other people in to support him in his many campaigns and activities.

Having worked in pathology and bacteriology at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, he was then appointed Lecturer in Public Health at Birmingham University Medical School, where he devised the first hospital information system.  He went on to direct a Medical Research Unit for the Health Education Council

His other “firsts” include research into accidents in the home, the first mass media health education programmes in the UK on smoking and health, and the first health commercials for television on smoking – participating in many radio and television programmes on contraception, home accidents and smoking. He was attacked politically for succeeding in showing the dangers of carbon monoxide from gas water heaters but was defended in a World in Action programme. 

Later he developed the NHS Child Health Vaccination and Immunisation system. His work with the Clinic in the Gambia, right up to the last, has left a lasting tribute to his memory.