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Asia’s first woman neurosurgeon dies at 86

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T S Kanaka

T.S. Kanaka, Asia’s first woman neurosurgeon has passed away at the age of 86.

Born on March 31, 1932, she was raised in Chennai. Kanaka obtained her MBBS degree in December 1954, and Master of Surgery (MCh; Latin: Magister Chirurgiae) in Neurosurgery in March 1968.

Acclaimed nurosurgeon, Kanaka, who inspired many women to take Neurosurgery as field, got retired as professor of Neurosurgery from the Institute of Neurology, Madras Medical College (MMC), in 1990.

“She was the third woman neurosurgeon in the whole world. She has inspired at least 75 to 80 women to become neurosurgeons in the country. As an 11-year-old child then, I started to look up to her and went on to become a neurosurgeon, the second in our family,” Kanaka’s niece, G Vijaya, who currently heads the Department of Neurosurgery at Sri Narayani Hospital and Research Centre, Vellore was quoted by the Hindu as saying.

“Her main aim after retirement from MMC was to serve the needy and poor. She wanted to treat the geriatric age group, and went on to establish a centre, Sri Santhana Krishna Padmavathi Health Care and Research Foundation in Chromepet with all her pension benefits,” she further said.

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