A NORTH Essex professor has been honoured for services to public health in the UK and overseas.

Mala Rao, a professor in international health at the University of East London since April 2011, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honour List.

Prof Rao, who lives in Colne Engaine, is also honorary public health advisor to the Administrative Staff College of India, in Hyderabad and advises the Department for International Development team in Madhya Pradesh, also in India.

She was the founding director of the first Indian Institute of Public Health, established by the Public Health Foundation of India.

Based in Hyderabad, she led the institute between 2008 and 2011.

Before then, she was head of the public health work force and worked for five years at the Department of Health as director of public health for the NHS, during which time she established the first cancer network in England.

See Monday's Gazette for the full story.