You are here:

Tribute to Edith Alarcón Arrascue

Published on


The Union is sad to announce the passing of our friend and colleague, Edith Alarcón Arrascue, on 27 August 2019, in Lima, Peru.

The Union is sad to announce the passing of our friend and colleague, Edith Alarcón Arrascue, on 27 August 2019, in Lima, Peru.

Edith dedicated her entire professional career to tuberculosis (TB).  From 1992 to 2002 she was a key member of the National TB and Leprosy Program of Peru.  She then joined The Union as a consultant from 2002 to 2016, spreading her knowledge and skills to the rest of Latin America, with a particular focus on the programmatic aspects of TB control and drug-resistant TB.  Edith brought this experience to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) headquarters, where she served as the coordinator for the prevention and control of multidrug-resistant TB from 2017 to the beginning of this year.

As a licensed nurse with a Masters in public health, Edith served on numerous technical committees in Peru, as well as for The Union, the Global Fund, PAHO and the World Health Organization. She was also a primary or contributing author for over 50 publications on TB, as well as being a highly sought-after teacher in TB technical courses around Latin America.  Importantly, Edith was a thought leader and advocate for nurses and allied professionals working in the field.

“Edith Alarcón served The Union with grace and distinction for 14 years and she will be deeply missed," said The Union's Executive Director, José Luis Castro. “Her influence on the work of The Union globally, and especially in Latin America, was profound.

"I feel very fortunate to have known Edith and worked with her. I shall always cherish her mentorship, dedication to public health and her genuine concern for the welfare of TB patients.  I extend my condolences to her family and pray they may find solace and comfort in the memories of her life and service to others.”

Sharing her tribute, Dr Paula I Fujiwara, The Union's Scientific Director, said: “In addition to her professional contributions, Edith was a friend: calm, quiet, but with a great sense of humor, helpful, and always elegant.

“It is our privilege to have known her and to have been a part of her life.  Her faith in God and the love of her family helped her through her sudden last illness.  Vaya con Dios, Edith, y que su alma descanse en paz eternal.”

Linette McElroy, Chair of The Union's Nurses and Allied Professionals Sub-section, added: “Edith’s commitment was an example to all, but especially to her fellow nurses around the world who have also dedicated themselves to ending TB.

“Not only did Edith shine a light on the important contributions nurses and allied professionals make to the health of individuals, families and communities, she inspired others to do the same. Her dedication and the depth and breadth of her service will continue to empower current and future generations of nurses to lead the changes necessary to achieve a world without TB.”

Read more about Edith's achievements: