Date of Birth: 5th Feb 1933
CULDOSCOPE: an instrument used by surgeons to observe the internal organs of the female reproductive system
FAMILY PLANNING: controlling the number of children that a couple will have, using various methods like drugs and surgery
FERTILITY: the ability to have children. The term “fertility management” refers to certain family planning methods which affect fertility
PROFESSOR EMERITUS: an honorary position given to a distinguished retired professor who continues to teach
Professor Hugh Wynter is married to Professor Dorothy King-Wynter, a former classmate of his and the first female graduate of the UCWI to attain professorial status. They have three children. Two are doctors and one is a captain with Air Jamaica.
Caribbean Icons in STI Volume 2
Professor Emeritus Hugh Wynter has been a pioneer in Caribbean family planning. Over his 40-year career, his research, practical expertise and contribution to medical education have significantly reduced Jamaica’s infant death rate and population growth, and earned him the 1998 United Nations Population Award.
Hugh Hastings Wynter was born on 5th February 1933 in Spanish Town, Jamaica. His father, who paid his way through medical school in the United States during the 1920s, was one of the first Jamaican doctors. Young Wynter pursued the sciences at Wolmer’s Boys School in order to study medicine, following in the footsteps of his father, aunt and cousins.
In 1958, he completed his medical degree at the University College of the West Indies (UCWI) – later renamed The University of the West Indies (UWI) – in Mona, Jamaica. He specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University College Hospital of the West Indies before travelling to London, England to complete his postgraduate training at Hammersmith Hospital. He returned to Jamaica in 1965, having served as Senior House Officer and Registrar at both hospitals.
Dr Wynter immediately began lecturing at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UWI, Mona, becoming a Professor in 1974. He was a Founding Fellow of the West Indian Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 1972 and was Head of the Department for 11 years.
Professor Wynter’s research has included studies on birth defects and diseases in newborns, and the effects of pregnancy and surgery on women. He has authored or contributed to seven books. He is an internationally recognised expert in female fertility management and the use of the culdoscope. Because of the high quality of this work, he was supported by the United Nations and the Federal Government of Germany for over 17 years.
In 1979, Dr Wynter founded the Advanced Training and Research in Fertility Management Programme at UWI, Mona, serving as its director for 24 years. Since its inception, more than 4,000 doctors, nurses, educators and social workers have been trained in reproductive healthcare. He spent nine years co-ordinating a distance learning programme that allowed fertility experts from Johns Hopkins University to educate people in Jamaica. Since then, he has been active in public education on family planning.
Professor Hugh Wynter retired as Director of the Fertility Management Unit on 31st October 2006, and was granted the title of Professor Emeritus. He lives by the belief that, “The root of happiness grows deepest in the soil of service.”