Messages

After losing our dear colleagues in the Malaysian airlines tragedy, PharmAccess and AIGHD received an overwhelming amount of touching messages from all over the world, ranging from former colleagues to international thought leaders.

“Some years ago, in my work as UNSGSA, I had the pleasure of joining forces with Joep Lange on improving access to health insurance in Africa. I will never forget his inspired and well thought way of working, but most of all the passion and involvement with which he approached his mission and developed PharmAccess. I am deeply saddened by this loss.”
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for inclusive finance for development

“I’m devastated about the loss of the inspiring Joep Lange and Jacqueline van Tongeren. True pioneers with big hearts.”
Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau, Chair of Girls Not Brides

”I met Joep Lange for the first time in 2004, together with Onno Schellekens. Joep -founder and Chairman of PharmAccess– asked for my involvement in setting up a new initiative: the Health Insurance Fund. I was immediately captured by his unprecedented intellectual quality, dedication and tenacity.

Joep never stopped. After launching the Health Insurance Fund he continued following his course to scale up AIDS care, treatment and research and over the years expanded it with new ways of financing health, improving quality of care and setting up a new research institute, the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development.

Joep was a friend, world class scientist and a true visionary leader. He has been a driving force in leading all of us on the road towards an AIDS free generation and affordable access to quality care, especially in developing countries in Africa and Asia. My heart goes out to Joep’s and Jacqueline’s family.”
Kees Storm, Chairman Health Insurance Fund

”We pay tribute to Joep Lange and Jacqueline van Tongeren. Joep, a well-respected and renowned pioneer in HIV/Aids research and his colleague and partner Jacqueline, who played an important role within the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development.
Joep was dedicated to making HIV / Aids medication available to everyone who needs it, in all parts of the world. In this vein he worked with countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and focused on the nexus between health care and economic development. Joep’s views on cooperation with the private sector in health insurance were innovative, unorthodox and not immediately popular in a scene that long was the exclusive domain of the public sector.
We will miss an inspiring and soft-spoken man, who was not afraid to challenge himself and others. A man who was not afraid to be the change he wanted to see. With the passing of Joep and Jacqueline we lose two people who made the world a better place. They will be dearly missed.”
Lilianne Ploumen, Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

”The loss of our colleagues and more than 290 others in what appears to have been a deliberate act is a stark reflection of the negative forces of our interdependence. People who don’t want a future of inclusive economics, inclusive governance, inclusive communities. In 2003, Joep Lange when we were just beginning at CHAI helped us scale up AIDS treatment and care in Tanzania and South Africa. He continued to help us in the years since. He and the five other colleagues we lost lived lives which are overpowering in their contribution to a shared future. Those who shot them down and who provided the means to do so represent the other side in our struggle to define the terms of our interdependence. The open hand against the clenched fist. Inclusive politics and economics versus division and dominance. Cooperation against control. Life against death.”
Bill Clinton, Founder Clinton Foundation, 42nd President of the United States

”Dr. Joep Lange was a dedicated and compassionate healer. He was passionate about finding a cure for the scourge of HIV/Aids and worked for its eradication with a passionate commitment. We have lost someone we just could not afford to lose and pray God’s comfort for his loved ones and colleagues.”‘
Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, Nobel peace laureate and member of the Elders

”There is probably not one single person from Joep’s generation who has saved and will continue to save as many lives as he has done. Not yet satisfied with his own groundbreaking work that helped to transform HIV/AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic disease, he felt it was morally unacceptable that medical science had found a way to bring about this transformation, but that it was not sufficiently available in Africa. Here of all places, where the disease was spreading most swiftly, the majority of patients had no access to the medicines and care environment required to provide effective treatment, due to poverty and lack of infrastructure. The innovative and driven manner in which he, by founding PharmAccess, changed the situation for the better in a growing number of countries in Africa is breathtaking. He achieved something many people only talk about: effective development work through local private sector involvement. By doing so he has given millions of people a new chance for a dignified existence. Thanks to his enormous scientific reputation, his don’t-take-no-for-an-answer attitude and strong sense of moral purpose, he successfully avoided the swampland of inertia so many initiatives get stuck in. During the early days of PharmAccess, I worked together with him intensively, an experience I am still thankful for. He was the most impressive person I have ever met.”
Sweder van Wijnbergen, Professor of Macroeconomics and International Economy, University of Amsterdam

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