SAA mourns the death of Board Member, Researcher, Academician and great Professor of Medicine James Gita Hakim
Accra Ghana, 26 January 2021
The Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA), the organizer of International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) is deeply saddened by the death of our dear Board member, friend and colleague Professor James Gita Hakim. He was an acclaimed academic, researcher and leading Professor who dedicated his life to developing medical education capacity and research capacity strengthening to cope with the heavy burden of all diseases especially HIV and AIDS in Africa.
Professor Hakim was first closely associated with SAA during the organization of ICASA 2015 as Co-chair of the Scientific Committee a role which he was appointed at short notice due to the change in venue. He led the re-organization of the Scientific programme including identifying key speakers to ensure one of the most successful ICASA becomes a reality. After ICASA15, Professor Hakim was voted into the Board of SAA in 2018 were he actively participated and provided guidance particularly in shaping the Conference Programme, he was also the Scientific Chair of the upcoming ICASA, ICASA 2021.
Professor Hakim was formerly Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences. He was also the Director of the University of Zimbabwe Clinical Research Center and Co-Principal Investigator in the UZ-UCSF Collaborative Research Program, two programmes which are involved in HIV and AIDS research including antiretroviral therapy, prevention, opportunistic infections and perinatal HIV. Professor Hakim was also the Principal Investigator of the University of Zimbabwe Medical Education Partnership Initiative – NECTAR, a PEPFAR and NIH funded programme whose goal was to improve medical education research capacity.
He trained at Makerere University, Uganda (MBChB), University of Nairobi (MMed Internal Medicine), Royal Colleges of Physicians UK (MRCP-UK), University of Newcastle, Australia (MMedSci-Clinical Epidemiology) and University of Cape Town (Health Professions Education). He also did a post-doctoral in Cardiology at Aachen, Germany and was a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of London and Edinburgh. Professor Hakim was also nominated for an award of a Doctor of Science in Medicine from the University College, London in 2016.
Professor Hakim had diverse interests in HIV and AIDS including antiretroviral therapy, prevention, opportunistic infections and long term complications of HIV and AIDS. He authored/co-authored more than 150 articles, book chapters and scientific communications.
The Board, the Permanent Secretariat of SAA and the entire scientific community of Africa express its health felt condolences to the family and friends of Professor Hakim. His extensive experience, humbleness and great leadership skills will be missed.