AIGHD Remembers Joep & Jacqueline

It’s been five years since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over Eastern Ukraine. All 298 on board were killed, including our director Prof. Joep Lange and our colleague Jacqueline van Tongeren, who were on their way to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

Joep was the founding father of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, PharmAccess Foundation and ahti, the animator of our mission and the architect of our interdisciplinary approach. Jacqueline was key to turning Joep’s plans into reality and was the driving force, as Director of Communications, behind major AIGHD activities such as the INTEREST Workshops, which has become the premier scientific HIV conference in Africa.

Joep and Jacqueline were mentors, inspirations and close friends to many of us and their sudden loss left an irreparable void in our organization.

Joep’s vision was bold: he wanted to ensure that every single person in the world, regardless of where they live, had access to good-quality health care and this vision was at the heart of any work he undertook. He understood that global health issues were complex and required collaborative solutions. Since their untimely passing, we’ve continued this legacy, bringing professionals together across disciplines to address the very global health issues he sought to solve during his career.

As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of AIGHD this October, we do so with reverence to our founder whose spirit and legacy are very much alive in the work we continue to do. We believe that Joep and Jacqueline would be proud of how their hard work and passion have grown into the present success of the organization and we wish they were here to accompany us into this next chapter.

They are dearly missed and we endeavor to continue to realize AIGHD’s mission in their memory.