Remembering Professor James Hakim, MBChB;MMed;MMedSci; FRCP;PGDipHPE

Scientific and Technical Advisory Board Member

Mozambique Institute for Health Education and Research

The Mozambique Institute for Health Education and Research (MIHER),expresses its sorrow and sincere condolences to the University of Zimbabwe, family and colleagues of Professor James Hakim, Professor of Medicine at University of Zimbabwe, who succumbed in a fight against Covid-19.

Prof. James Hakim was an internal medicine specialist and clinical epidemiologist who transitioned his career during the HIV pandemic in Zimbabwe to develop extensive and diverse expertise and a broad research portfolio in HIV/AIDS that included development of new and novel antiretroviral drugs for treatment and prevention of HIVand of the opportunistic infections and long-term complications of HIV/AIDS. He was involved in seminal HIV research through funding and collaboration with MRC-CTU (UK), NIH (USA), EDCTP (Europe), Rockefeller Foundation, DIFD, Welcome Trust, and other research organizations. He was the Principal Investigator (PI) of one of the first international clinical research sites to conduct HIV/AIDS therapeutic interventional clinical trials at the University of Zimbabwe for the US NIH-sponsored AIDS Clinical Trials Group network, helping to grow the ACTG network into one of the largest international HIV clinical trials networks in the world. He has been a strong representative voice for African investigators and their patients in the scientific priorities for ACTG and HIV Prevention Trial Network (HPTN) clinical trials.He was the PI of the Zimbabwe Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) award (2010-2016) and was the Chair of the MEPI PI Council (2014-2015) which brought together more than 60 Sub-Saharan African MEPI medical schools. Further, Professor Hakim was a founding member of the AFREhealth organization created in 2016 and committed to developing health professionals’ education and research in Africa, sharing best practices, and reducing health disparities. He authored/coauthored more than 150 articles, book chapters and scientific communications.

It was with deep pain, sorrow and disbelief that we learned of his eternal departure.We have no other way to mourn this tragedy but to continue to work to the limit of our capacity in the search for and implementation of safe effective alternatives for the control of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other emerging diseases in our community and our countries.

This is an irreparable loss for his family, for Zimbabwe, for Africa, for the entire world and for the Mozambican scientific and academic community. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

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