Ashoka Remembers Public Health Innovator Dr. Firman Lubis

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Source: Ashoka

Dr. Firman Lubis, a social innovator, public health expert and long-time friend of Ashoka, passed away last month in Jakarta, Indonesia. He was 66 years old.

“His is the sort of story Ashoka should always be about,” Bill Drayton said, remembering Dr. Lubis. “In every way he was one of us: a brilliant social entrepreneur, a completely loyal and sensitive partner, and so much more.”

Dr. Lubis was a senior lecturer at the University of Indonesia, one of the largest and oldest state universities in the country, with both the School of Medicine and School of Public Health. Five years after graduating with a masters in public health from the University of Hawaii in 1975, Dr. Lubis served as the director of Yayasan Kusuma Buana, an NGO established in 1980 to help promote and improve urban family planning, education and health by addressing the needs of women and children in underserved areas, typically with self-supporting health clinics.

Since 2000, Dr. Lubis was an active leader in the Coalition for Healthy Indonesia, a network of more than a hundred organizations, supported by the John Hopkins University and USAID.

He'll be proudly remembered as a core member of the Ashoka Family. In 1982, three years after launching Yayasan Kusuma Buana, Dr. Lubis co-founded Ashoka Indonesia, also serving as a member of the board, to improve the country's response to reproductive health challenges like HIV/AIDS and high rates of maternal mortality.

Dr. Lubis shaped his understanding of the field from an academic and citizen sector perspective. And he lived to serve others. When once asked about his life mission, Dr. Lubis said, “To make myself useful and beneficial to society. The principles of my life are to be honest, live sparingly, help people, and foster family and social life harmony.”