On 31 March 2020, Professor Gita Ramjee, Chief Scientific Officer of the Aurum Institute in South Africa, passed away due to complications of a COVID-19 infection. Many in the EDCTP General Assembly, the Scientific Advisory Committee and the Secretariat worked with her and knew her well. We are sad and shocked by this loss. “We have lost a long serving member of our Scientific Advisory Committee and a dear and formidable colleague in the fight against infectious diseases. Prof. Gita Ramjee sadly succumbed to COVID-19, one more victim of this ravaging pandemic. This is a very heavy loss to the global scientific community and South Africa. We extend our sincere condolences to her family. May her soul rest in peace.” Dr Michael Makanga, EDCTP Executive Director
Professor Ramjee was a world-renowned scientist, known for her contribution to the fight against the HIV epidemic in South Africa and globally, focussed on HIV prevention solutions for women. She published more than 200 research articles.
At the opening ceremony of the Ninth Forum in Lisbon, EDCTP awarded its 2018 Prize for Outstanding Female Scientist to Prof. Gita Ramjee, at the time Chief Specialist Scientist and Director of the HIV Prevention Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council, Durban, South Africa.
She was lauded for her extensive experience in HIV prevention methods for women and her investigations of women-initiated HIV prevention options. She conducted large-scale trials of antiretroviral-based oral and topical prophylaxis. Her excellence in clinical research and capacity building had brought her the Life Time achievement award in HIV prevention by a panel of international peers. She was also a recipient of the South African MRC Gold Award given for scientific excellence.
We extend our sincere condolences to her family. May her soul rest in peace.