A PASSIONATE supporter of the NHS who was once in charge of the health of north Essex residents has been recognised in the New Year Honours List.

Professor Mala Rao, 58, served as director of public health in both north east Essex and south Essex before exporting the values of the NHS to India.

Now Prof Rao, of Elms Hall Road, Colne Engaine, has been honoured for services to public health with an OBE.

She said: “I was overwhelmed with emotion when I received the news and absolutely thrilled as well.

“For all of us working in public health, it’s just absolutely wonderful.”

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