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Professor Turabali M H Chakera (“Turab”)

Professor Turabali M H Chakera (“Turab”) Consultant Radiologist and Professor of Radiology, Perth, Western Australia 

Turabali M H Chakera (popularly known as “Turab” ) was born in Dar Es Salaam, Tanganyika (now Tanzania, Africa), the middle child in a family of five children. After initial education in East Africa, Turab, at the age of 15 years moved to the UK for further education and read Medicine at the University of Birmingham Medical School. After completing House Officer posts in Birmingham; SHO posts in Plymouth, and a Registrar post in Southampton (obtained MRCP in 1970) Turab returned to Africa to work with the Zambian Flying Doctor Service, where he met Margaret (nurse and midwife); they married later that year and soon afterwards returned to England to join the radiology training scheme in Birmingham obtaining FRCR in 1974. In 1975 they moved to Perth, Western Australia, where he was appointed Consultant Radiologist [with special interest in neuroradiology] at the Royal Perth Hospital; becoming Head of Department in 1978 and Director of Imaging Services in 1996. Turab was awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) in 1986.


1st March 1943 to 13th July 2019

Turab was heavily involved in the education fields of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists [RANZCR]; in which he held numerous senior positions including Chief Censor and Warden and was elected President of the RANZCR [1996-1999]. He was awarded the College’s Gold Medal for Outstanding Service in 2002 and made a Life Member in 2003. Turab had a strong interest in training and education both of undergraduate and postgraduate students. He was appointed Clinical Professor of Radiology at the University of Western Australia in 2001. He was a  Visiting Examiner for the Sri Lankan College of Radiologists for several years. Turab established an exchange programme between radiologists in Sri Lanka and the Royal Perth Hospital. The Sri Lankan College of Radiologists awarded him its inaugural Roentgen Medal in 2002. Internationally he was consulted widely on education matters in radiology.

He was instrumental in the implementation of PACS throughout Western Australia and in 1998 was awarded the Australian Medical Association Outstanding Service Award for his contributions to Medicine in Western Australia. In the Australia Day Honours 2010 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to Diagnostic Radiology as a clinician and educator and through a range of professional associations.

Outside Medicine Turab taught English to migrants arriving in Western Australia, attended as many theatre productions as he could, and had a love of fishing and sports. In particular, he was an ardent cricket supporter, and regularly attended test matches both locally and internationally. He was a keen bridge player and frequent traveller (both professionally and pleasure in retirement); despite a progressive degenerative neurological condition that limited his mobility, he continued to travel extensively and remained active up until a few months before his death. Margaret, his wife, greatly supported and encouraged him throughout his disability; this was highly appreciated and equally commended by the family and friends.

Turab was a cultural, academic, intellectual family man with a very warm, friendly personality. He is sorely missed by his family, friends and colleagues around the world. Turab died at home surrounded by his family and leaves his wife, Margaret; two sons, Aron (a Consultant Nephrologist), Jakob (a Consultant Intensivist); and five grandchildren. 

*** Acknowledgments:  The material for this obituary material was provided and agreed by the Chakera family; viz., Margaret Chakera, Aron Chakera, and Jakob Chakera. It is also acknowledged that the versions of the obituary has been published in the BMJ (Online Obituary section) on 29 October 2019 [ ref: BMJ 2019:367:I6262 ] and elsewhere with the approval and agreement of the Chakera Family.

Memoir author: Dr Kishore Shah, FRCR, FRCPCH and Dr Richard Fitzgerald, FRCR