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In Memory of Dr Keith Sanders (1925-2023)



It is with heavy hearts that EMMS International announces the passing of Dr Keith Sanders, a remarkable and compassionate soul whose life's work and deep Christian faith, has left an indelible mark on the field of medicine and global healthcare.


Dr Sanders embarked on his medical journey in Bristol, where he acquired his medical qualifications and pursued further training in surgery, ultimately earning the esteemed Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS). Fuelled by a deep sense of purpose, he answered the call to the Mission field, dedicating his skills to a wide array of medical disciplines, including obstetrics, gynaecology, ENT, gastrointestinal, orthopaedics, paediatrics, traumas, burns, emergencies, dentistry, plastic surgery, tropical diseases, and even snake bites. His commitment to healing extended to delivering hundreds of new-borns, showcasing his unwavering dedication to the well-being of others.


After mastering the Hindi language at a language school in Landour, Dr Sanders and his wife, Mrs. Marion Sanders, journeyed to The Duncan Hospital in Bihar, India. There, Dr Sanders assumed the role of Chief Medical Officer, leaving an enduring legacy of service and impact. His years at The Duncan Hospital were marked by ground-breaking research on Tetanus treatment, leading to significant advancements in patient care. His efforts were recognized internationally, with publications in prestigious journals such as The Lancet and The British Medical Journal.Under Dr Sanders's leadership, The Duncan Hospital witnessed a remarkable decline in Tetanus mortality rates, plummeting from over 90% to less than 10%. Beyond the hospital's walls, Dr Sanders and his dedicated team spearheaded immunization programs in Bihar and Nepal, safeguarding communities against Tetanus, Typhoid, TB, and various other diseases. Notably, they played a pivotal role in the World Health Organization's successful campaign to eradicate Smallpox in the early 1970s.


Dr Sanders's commitment extended beyond the hospital grounds. As Chairman of the United Mission to Nepal, he championed preventive and curative care, immunizations, midwifery, and child welfare services in rural settings. A founding member of the Emmanuel Hospital Association, Dr Sanders continued his impactful journey upon returning to the UK, where he assumed the role of General Secretary for the Christian Medical Fellowship until his retirement.


Ann McKechin, Interim Chair of EMMS International said, "On behalf of the Trustees and staff of EMMS International, I would like to pay our deepest respects to Dr Keith Sanders, who lived a life of great sacrifice, faithfully serving God, particularly during his years of service at the Duncan Hospital, Bihar. We are both honoured and thankful to have had his spiritual support, to continue his legacy and our shared vision for the Duncan Hospital, caring for the weak and vulnerable, striving to create a kinder and fairer society in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Guided by his strong faith, Keith saved and improved the lives of many whilst serving as a medical missionary in India. His skill, devotion and empathy for others are an inspiration to us all. May he rest in peace as he goes home to be with his loving Father in Heaven."


Dr Keith Sanders's legacy will be honoured at a Thanksgiving Service at Tewkesbury Abbey on Friday, December 29th, 2023, at 2:00 pm. The Sanders family welcomes guests to join in remembering both Dr Sanders and Mrs. Marion Sanders. In lieu of flowers, they kindly request donations in Dr Sanders's memory for EMMS International. https://robert-keithmorice-sanders.muchloved.com/


EMMS International pay tribute to a life dedicated to faith, healing, compassion, and the betterment of humanity.


May he rest in eternal peace.

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