Yesterday, I like many others in Walsall, I was shocked to hear of the sudden, unexpected and totally unjust death of Walsall’s Director of Public Health, Doctor Sam Ramiah, who was taken by a heart attack at the criminally young age of 62. Here was a true champion for the health of Walsall, from campaigns on childhood obesity, to detectable cancer, to teenage pregnancy and geriatric care. The good doctor fought with charm, guile, tenacity and intelligence. We have lost one of the leading lights of social health. He will be sorely missed.
Many have recorded Sam Ramiah’s passing, from the Plastic Hippo on twitter to this lovely obituary by The Mushroom.
There’s been a long history in Walsall of social pioneers, perhaps the most loved of which was Sister Dorothy Pattison, who in her time fought passionately for the health, wellbeing and care of the working classes in a Walsall that was a filthy, very sick, industrial hell. I like to think that somewhere off in the distance, Dora and Sam are currently taking tea, engaged in polite debate about the health of our town.
Professor Sam Ramiah was a good man who will be sadly missed. Rest in peace.