Doctor, scholar Alauddin Toukan passes away

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Alauddin Toukan. (Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Alauddin Toukan, born in 1947 in Jerusalem, Palestine, to Hanan Jalal Hashem and Bahauddin Toukan, passed away on April 9, 2022.

He was the brother of Her Majesty Queen Alia Al Hussein and Dr. Abdullah Toukan, and uncle to HRH Princess Haya and HRH Prince Ali, to Abir Muheissin, and Tarek and Ali Toukan. He was husband to Randa Ghanma Toukan, father to Alia, Dr. Hanan and Dr. Oraib, and grandfather to Talal Homoud and Hamza Homoud, Soraya Zolghadr-Toukan, Balkis Azzam, and Rayyan Azzam-Toukan.  اضافة اعلان

Dr. Alauddin spent the first two years of primary school in the Terra Sancta School, in Amman, before moving to the UK in 1956 to attend Claremont School, St. Leonard’s in Sussex, UK, and secondary school at Bryanston Public School in Blandford, Dorset, UK, from where he graduated in 1964.

In 1965, Dr. Toukan enrolled in St. George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London, where he completed his undergraduate education. He carried out his postgraduate training first in internal medicine at the University of Western Ontario, followed by Boston University Medical Center in Boston, MA, US.

Dr. Toukan held various appointments, including professor of medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Jordan; chief of the Gastroenterology and Liver Unit in the Department of Medicine at the University of Jordan, clinical research associate in medicine at Boston University Medical Center, Fulbright scholar and researcher in the hepatitis branch at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA, US, as well as chairman of the Department of Medicine and dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Jordan.

Over the decades, Dr. Toukan was an instrumental figure in medical education, an avid university lecturer and researcher,  and the principal investigator in various epidemiological studies on hepatitis in Jordan that were published in numerous international medical journals. Those studies defined the transmission patterns of hepatitis B in the Middle East and continue to be sources of reference for the implementation of prevention and vaccination programs in Jordan and the wider region.  Dr. Toukan passionately taught countless medical students and was, above all, inspired and driven by his students’ quest for medical knowledge.

Dr. Toukan played a major role in initiating and directing the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program at the University of Jordan Hospital, leading to the master’s degree and certification by Arab and Jordanian Boards of Internal Medicine. He developed the Gastroenterology and Liver Units of the Jordan Hospital into a modern and fully equipped national referral center. He initiated the Liver Research Laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine and developed it into a major instrument of hepatitis research in the country. He was also co-founder of the Arab-African Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, and founder, with his wife Randa Ghanma Toukan, of the Jordanian Society of Friends of Liver Patients, formed to lend support and financial help to liver patients. In addition, Dr. Toukan was instrumental in pushing his fellow physicians to engage in education, particularly by supporting meetings, studies, and educational activities in schools, rural areas, refugee camps, and parental and teacher associations to raise awareness about liver diseases.

Dr. Toukan was invited by Dr. B. Blumberg, Nobel prize recipient for the discovery of the hepatitis B virus, to sit on a global committee for the eradication of hepatitis B. As a result, under his chairmanship, a study group on hepatitis B in Middle East and North Africa was formed; its first meeting was in Amman. Dr. Toukan was also a member of the WHO coordinating committee on hepatitis in Geneva. 

Outside of his many professional accomplishments, his hobbies were reading, photography, gardening, and listening to music.

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