TOKM : Dr. Kyaw Win

by Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint

Dr. Kyaw Win, former Director of Medical Services, Burma Army Medical Corp (BAMC) and Retired Myanmar Ambassador to the Court of St. James (UK), passed away at home, in Rangoon, on 29th. October 2010. He was 72 years old.

To many of us, he was never seen as senior physician, the Director of BAMC an oncologist or an international expert on malaria, but as U Lay Kyaw, an uncle who looked after us and our families who lived in Inya Road and University Avenue in Rangoon. Not just as children and teenagers, when a fair number of us entered medical school and later worked in the health services, he was a teacher and mentor to many generations of medical graduates from all three medical schools in Burma.

U Lay Kyaw was the son of U Po Sa, who founded the very first bank in Rangoon owned by a Burmese.(U Rae Kyaw Thu opened the first bank in Rakhine some years earlier to do commerce with India).

He went to UK to do postgraduate studies and successfully obtained MRCP (Edin) and DTM&H (London) on his own expense. On his return he decided to join BAMC as a physician, posted to Base Military Hospital (BMH), Maymyo. He was later posted to No. 2 base  Military Hospital, Rangoon where he served as the Chief Physician for many years. He was later elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, (FRCP) Edinburgh.

During this period, U Lay Kyaw pioneered in two very important areas of medicine: together with Lt. Col. Aye Pe and Dr. U Myo Tint, he started the services in oncology which was open to all patients with malignancies, both civilian and from the army without any discrimination. He standardized chemotherapy regimes in Burma, procured chemotherapeutic agents through the Medical Corp but again for use by all patients attending the Oncology Clinic. U Lay Kyaw also started with his colleagues a weekly tumor clinic where cases are reviewed by the team. All of us in pediatrics will never forget his kindness and care in helping us in looking after patients with childhood malignancies. We benefited so much from the oncological services in 2 BMH, as he provided not only his technical expertise but also shared with us his limited resources of equipment and medicine..

When increasing numbers of drug resistant malaria were reported, U Lay Kyaw initiated a team to tackle this major health problem in our country, working closely with the Malaria Institute in Rangoon with Dr. Barua, Dr. Franco Tin, and Prof. U Aung Than Batu and his team from Department of Medical Research. A systematic approach to management of severe forms of malaria as well as preventive measures were standardized and adhered to in Burma. It was his initiative to introduce Artemetha (Ging Hou Zou) as part of the anti-malaria armamentarium. His efforts in visiting Kew Gardens in London to identify Artemetha species growing in Burma helped Burma in no longer being dependent on importation of Artemetha and its extracts from China. Later, the active alkaloid Artemesanine, was extracted from local species and used as drug of choice for drug resistant malaria.

Dr. Kyaw Win was considered as one of world’s most renowned expert in Malaria and provided advice the World Health Organization Geneva on issues related to malaria. He was also the author of numerous articles both on malaria and cancer therapy.

He left the medical services to serve as the Myanmar Ambassador to the Court of St. James, London.

Spouse : Daw Kyi Kyi Chit Maung (eldest sister of Prof. Than Toe)
Children : Dr. Htut Kyaw Win, Aung Kyaw Win and Aye Sandar Kyaw Win.

U Lay Kyaw will be very much missed not only by his immediate family but by all of us, members of his extended family now living in many countries.

Photo (at the beginning of the article) : U Lay Kyaw as the Ambassador in London during the exhibitions of paintings and art works by Burmese artists.

Dr. Ye Myint wrote :

I worked with him for 2 years at 2, Military Hospital for 2 years. He wrote a chapter about Rickettsial Diseases in First edition of Oxford Textbook of Medicine. (major large reference textbook in UK). He was Editor in chief for First Textbook of Internal Medicine in Myanmar. And published research papers in many medical journals.

From Prof. U Mya Tu’s Who’s Who in Health & Medicine in Myanmar

570 Kyaw Win, Brig. General (Retd) Dr. U, M.B., B.S. (Rgn); D.T.M. & H. (Eng.); M.R.C.P. (Edin.); F.R.C.P. (Edin.); F.A.C.T.M. (Australia); SAMA 1883; Physician (Internal Medicine);
son of U Po Sa and Daw Kin Lay;
born 03 January, 1938 in Yangon;
spouse Daw Kyi Kyi
Education: Faculty of Education Practicing School (TTC) 1947-53; matriculated 1953; Faculty of Medicine, University of Rangoon, M.B., B.S., 1960; D.T.M. & H (Eng) 1962; Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, M.R.C.P., 1964; Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, F.R.C.P., 1978. Career: House Surgeon, Yangon General Hospital, 1960-61; Demonstrator in Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rangoon, 1961-62; Postgraduate training in UK, 1962-64; Consultant Physician, Base Hospitals, Burma Army Medical Corps, 1964-88; Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Defence, 1988-95; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Myanmar to Canada, 1995-99; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 1999 to date; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Kingdom of Sweden and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Kingdom of Norway, 2000 to date.
Special Mention: Currently Part-time Advisor on SE Asia Programmes of the Welcome Foundation in London and the Friedland Foundation in U.S.A.
Honours / Awards: Fellowship, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 1962; Fulbright-Hays Senior Fellow; Research Fellow / Visiting Lecturer, Harvard Medical School, 1974-76; Naing Ngan Daw Sit Hmu Htan Tazeik; Naing Ngan Daw Aye Chan Tha Yar Ye Tazeik; Tat Ma Daw Gon Du Saung Amu Htan Tazeik; Kut Ke Hmu Tazeik; Sit Hmu Htan Gaung Tazeik; Myanmar Academy of Medical Science Oration, 2002.
Membership of Societies / Associations / Committees: Myanmar Medical Association; Royal Society of Tropical Medicine; New York Academy of Sciences; American Association for Advancement of Science; Fellow, Australasian College of Tropical Medicine, 1995; Member, National Health Committee, 1989-95; Member, National Olympic Committee, 1992-95. Conferences / Study Tours / Training: Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, Harvard School of Public Health, U.S.A., 1975-76; Has attended many WHO Conferences, International Congresses for Tropical Medicine, Malaria and Drug regulation; Japanese-German Cooperative Symposium on Protozoan Diseases, Japan, 1989; International Congress for Infectious Diseases, Canada, July 1990; International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities, Ottawa, Canada and Geneva, Switzerland, Oct. 1991; Western Pacific Congress for Infectious Diseases, Pattaya, Thailand, 1992; Malaria Control Meeting for Asia and Pacific Regions, New Delhi, India, 1992; Expert Review Group Global Strategy for Malaria Control, Geneva, Switzerland, 1992; Ministerial Meeting Conference on Global Strategy for Malaria Control, Amsterdam, Netherlands (as WHO Expert Review Group), Oct-Nov 1992; WHO Task Force Meeting on Antimalarial Drug Use in Tropical Regions, Bangkok, Thailand, Apr-May 1993; Meeting on Application for Artemisinin, Geneva, Switzerland, Sep-Oct 1993; Brazilian Congress on Tropical Diseases, Salvador, Brazil, Mar 1994; Meeting on Effective Usage of Drugs for Malaria in South East Asia Region, Hanoi, Vietnam, May 1994; Alternate Representative of Myanmar, United Nations General Assembly, New York, Sep 1996-98; Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations Conferences on Environment and Biodiversity, Montreal, Canada, Sep 1995-97; WHO Informal Consultation on Antimalarial suppositories, Geneva, May 1995; WHO Task Force on improved used of antimalarial in South East Asia, Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, Nov 1996; 14th International Congress of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki, Japan, Dec 1996; Meeting on Rational use of Qing-Han-Hsu and its derivatives, Annecy, France, Apr 1998; Lectured and conducted seminars at various medical schools in Ottawa, St. Johns (New Foundland), and Vancouver, Apr 1995-Apr 1999. Areas of research interest: Anti-malaria drugs (Artemesinin); pathophysiology of cerebral malaria. Publications: Kyaw-Win, Tin-Ohn & Marlar-Than (1968). Scrub Typhus in Burma, 1967. Union of Burma J. Life Sci. 1: 209-211; Kyaw Win, Ye Thwe, Khin Mg Mg Than et. al (1985). Alternative drug regimens for multidrug resistant falciparum malaria. Burma med. J. 31(1) Suppl.; Kyaw Win, Ye Thwe, Khin Maung Maung Than et. al (1985). A clinical experience with Artemether, a Quinhosu derivative in the treatment of malaria. Burma Med. J. 31(1); Suppl.; Kyaw Win, Ye Thwe, Khin Mg Mg Than et. al (1986). The role of mefloquine in the prevention and treatment of malaria. Paper presented at the 33rd Burma Medical Conference, 1986; Kyaw-Win, Ye-Thwe, Marlar-Than, et al. (1989). The efficacy of Artemisinin derivatives in the treatment of cerebral malaria. Myanmar Military Research Programme. Paper read at the Japanese-German Cooperation Sympoasium, July 1989; Kyaw-Win, Marlar-Than et al. (1989). The efficacy of Artemisinin derivatives plus mefloquine in the treatment of cerebral malaria. Abstract, Medical Research Congress, Department of Medical Research, Yangon, 18 Dec 1989; Kyaw-Win, Ye-Thwe, Marlar-Than et al. (1990). Progress in antimalarial drug trials. Abstract, 2nd Western Pacific Congress on Infectious Diseases and Chemotherapy., 11-14 Dec 1990; Kyaw-Win, Marlar-Than et al. (1991). Response to new drug regimen in man of multidrug resistant uncomplicated falciparum malaria. Advanced Knowledge on Malaria in South East Asia. 23: Suppl 4: 111-115; Kyaw-Win, Marlar-Than et al. (1991). A comparative study of Mefloquine, Artesunate and Halofantrine in treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria. Abstract, Medical Research Congress, Department of Medical Research, Yangon, 17-20 Dec 1991; Tin Shwe and Kyaw Win. (1991). Iron, Desferrioxamine and Malaria infection (Review Article). Myanmar Medical Journal 36 (1-4): 66-69; Kyaw-Win, Marlar-Than, Ye-Thwe et. al (1991). Comparison of combinations of parenteral artemisinin derivatives plus oral mefloquine with intravenous quinine plus oral tetracycline for treating cerebral malaria. Bull. Wld Hlth Org. 70(6): 777-782; Kyaw-Win, Marlar-Than et al. (1992). Factors associated with adverse outcome in adult cerebral malaria. Abstract, Myanmar Medical Conference, 16-20 Jan 1992, Myanmar Medical Association; Kyaw-Win, Marlar-Than et al. (1992). Artesunate and artemether in combination with mefloquine in Myanmar. Abstract, 13th International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria, Pattaya, Thailand, Nov 29 – Dec 4, 1992; Myint-Oo, Tin-Oo, Kyaw-Win and Marlar-Than (1993). Nucleoside permeability and antimalarial action of Nitrobenzyl-thio-inosine in combination with purine antimetabolite. J. Myanmar Military Med. 2(1): 8-13; Kyaw-Win, Marlar-Than et. al (1993). Regional differences in mefloquine response rates in uncomplicated falciparum malaria. J. Myanmar Military Med. 2(1): 14-18; Kyaw Win and Tin Shwe. (1993). Clinical trials of I/M Artemether and I/V and oral Artesunate in the treatment of falciparum malaria in Myanmar. DMR Bulletin 7 (4): 1-15; Kyaw-Win, Marlar-Than et. al (1994). Comparing the efficacy of mefloquine-artesunate combination with mefloquine alone in uncomplicated falcuparum malaria. Myanmar Hlth Sci.Res. J. 6(1): 4-10; Kyaw-Win, Marlar-Than, Ye Thwe et. al (1996). The use of Purified Immune African IgG as an adjunct to i.m. Artemether in the treatment of Cerebral Malaria in South-East Asia. Jap. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 24 (Suppl. 1): 33-37; Tin Shwe, Kyaw Win , Ko Ko Hla (1998). Clinical trials of I/M artemether, I/V and oral artesunate in the treatment of falciparum malaria in Myanmar . Myanmar Medical J. 42 (3,4): 6-10; Chief Editor and contributing author. Textbook of Internal Medicine, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Editions, Published by the Myanmar Medical Association; Contributing author, Oxford Textbook of Medicine, 2nd and 3rd Editions (1966), Oxford University Press, England; Kyaw Win, (2002). Man against (pathogenic) microbes through the ages. Myanmar Academy of Medical Science Oration, 16 August 2002, Myanmar Academy of Medical Science, 27, Pyidaungsu Yeik Tha Road, Yangon;
Recreation: golf; music.
Address: 49 Redington Road, London, NW 37 RA , UK (Tel. (020) 794-9814); e-mail:

(Thane Oke Kyaw-Myint)

Categories: Doctor

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