Africa-Press – Zambia. A maid is being held at Woodlands Police Station in connection with the brutal murder of Professor Krikor Erzingatsian,who was known as the father of surgery in Zambia. The 80 year old surgeon is said to have been brutally murdered over a fortnight ago at his Kabulonga home.However, the circumstances surrounding his death remain unknown.A senior police officer said that a maid is in custody at Woodlands Police Station in connection with the death of Prof Erzingatsian who had no wife nor children.
Prof Krikor, as he is commonly known started teaching medical students at the University of Zambia Ridgeway Campus in 1979. He is the longest serving lecturer and was described as a selfless man who dedicated his life to serving mankind particularly the underprivileged.It was his nature to provide surgical services to poor communities at no cost. His work was his hobby and he was well known for his meticulous attention to detail.
Professor Krikor’s parents were Armenian by birth, and fled the Armenian genocide to Ethiopia where Professor Erzingatsian was born. His secondary education was in North Wales and he entered into medical school in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in 1963. During this time he won several prizes and undertook higher surgical training in several hospitals in Dublin. He became a Fellow of RCSI and lectured in anatomy. He also obtained Irish citizenship.
Following surgical training in Ireland he returned to Africa where he spent most of his clinical career as a surgeon in Lusaka, Zambia. He held a number of key administrative posts during this time period and was appointed Professor of Surgery in the University of Zambia in 1999. At the University Teaching Hospital he was a surgical consultant and Head of Department of surgery.Prof Krikor was also President of the Surgical Society of Zambia.
His educational activities during this time period are too numerous to mention but the thematic approach was to promote and advance the cause of surgery and surgical training in East, Central and Southern Africa.
He published extensively in topics relevant to the local delivery of surgical practice including the importance of local anaesthesia and ketamine, the management of sepsis and trauma and also a recognition of the cancer burden in Africa.
Professor Krikor then entered into a remarkable new phase in his career. The recognition of the need for a formal structure of surgical training in Africa resulted in the creation of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA). Professor Krikor was a driving force behind the creation of this college, was the longest serving member of its Council and has been its Vice-President and President. He was the College Registrar for many years until the time of his passing.
(Back Row) Mr Eric OÕFlynn, Prof Sean Tierney, Dr Jim Kiely, Prof Stephen Ogendo, Mr Eunan Friel, Mr Frederick Mutyaba, Prof Michael Earley, Mr Roger Duggan
(Front) Prof Pankaj Jani, Mr Declan Magee, Mr Christopher Samkange, Mr Yusuf Kodwavwala, Prof Krikor Erzingatsian
His tireless energy helped nurture a young college and contributed greatly to a rapid increase in COSECSA training numbers to almost 1,000 trainees in 2022. For this Professor Krikor Erzingatsian was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of COSECSA in 2012.
Doctors who were once students or colleagues of Professor Krikor Erzingatsian have described his death as a great loss and that he will be greatly missed.