Joep and Jacqueline

Remembering Joep

Among the 298 lives lost in the Malaysia Airlines tragedy was our founder, inspirer, colleague and friend Joep Lange, who died with his life partner and our beloved colleague Jacqueline van Tongeren at his side.

Joep was a great humanitarian, scientist and activist. His vision and determination remain an inspiration for us all. His death is a massive loss for those who knew him but also for the world – Joep changed the course of global health. He was a pioneer in his academic field and unconventional in his drive to convert science into action. Not only did he contribute to the way in which we fight AIDS today, he was also a trailblazer in a new approach to development aid.

Read Joep's full story

Remembering Jacqueline

Jacqueline van Tongeren was Director of Communications and Liaison Officer to Professor Joep Lange at the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD).

She would waft into the office, light of step with a brilliant smile on her face. The epitome of elegance, her date of birth belied her beautiful face and lithe body; she was the consummate facilitator. “Our office was a communications hub” said Catherine Hankins, AIGHD’s Deputy Director, Science, who shared an office with Jacqueline, “not only for professional matters but also for personal concerns of our staff – and she was superb”. Sometimes exasperated but never angry, she would hear out all sides and propose a way forward that would find favour with all.

Read Jacqueline's full story

The organizations

Professor Joep Lange and Jacqueline van Tongeren both started their career at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam in the 1980s. At that time the new incurable disease AIDS rapidly spread in the western world, especially among the gay community, causing great panic. In the Netherlands, the AMC was at that time and still is a leading institute on treatment of HIV-infected patients and HIV-research. Jacqueline headed up the special AIDS ward when it was established at AMC to take care of AIDS patients and in 1983 Joep Lange started clinical research in HIV-infected patients at the AMC. Through laboratory research he discovered the link between serological response patterns to HIV infection and the speed at which HIV disease progresses. This provided the rationale for the use of combination antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in 1996, which transformed HIV from a death sentence into a manageable chronic condition.

In Africa at that time, for the great majority of the population, adults and children, treatment was not available and many of the HIV/AIDS patients died of the disease. Joep initiated PharmAccess in 2000, to bring life-saving antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS treatment to Africa. Jacqueline played a crucial role in this initial phase of the organization as board member. Initially, PharmAccess focused on the introduction of HIV/AIDS treatment by convincing Dutch multinationals, starting with Heineken, to provide AIDS treatment to their employees in more than twenty African countries. This was revolutionary at the time. Soon PharmAccess realized that these programs could be broadened to lay a foundation for the development of functional general health systems. PharmAccess aims to stimulate both the demand and supply side of the healthcare sector through quality improvements and clinical standards, loans for healthcare providers, health insurance, health infrastructure, consultancy, HIV/AIDS corporate programs, mHealth and impact research.

In-depth research into the efficacy of innovations and initiatives of PharmAccess in health care delivery and finance is done by the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) . In 2010 Joep with Jacqueline at his side founded this institute to provide sustainable solutions to major health problems across our planet. Joep was the Executive Scientific Director and Jacqueline the Director Communications for the AIGHD. Throughout their whole careers they were busy finding global health solutions, and the establishment of the AIGHD was an important new step. AIGHD forges synergies between disciplines, health care delivery, research and education. It links disciplines, resources and innovative programs from academic institutions and implementing partners, in both the developed and developing world with the ultimate aim to lead the way to access to high quality health care for all inhabitants of this world.

For a full overview of Joep’s publications please click here

If we can get cold Coca-Cola and beer to every remote corner of Africa, it should not be impossible to do the same with drugs.Joep Lange




“The sight of the affluent young of the west wishing to protect the poor of the world from the processes that delivered their own remarkable prosperity is unutterably depressing.”
Martin Wolf “Why Globalization Works”, Yale University Press 2004

A message from Africa

A short film about the programs of AIGHD, AMC, PharmAccess and KMET in Kisumu, Kenya