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South Africans were left saddened by the untimely passing of world-renowned scientist Gita Ramjee, who passed away from Covid-19 complications on Tuesday

Ramjee, who worked tirelessly to find HIV-prevention solutions for women, was the chief scientific officer professor for the Aurum Institute.

The institute issued a statement on their website shortly after her demise, stating that they were deeply saddened by their death of one of their own.

Prof Gavin Churchyard, group CEO of the Aurum Institute, said: “The world has lost a bold and compassionate leader in the response to HIV. Gita Ramjee firmly believed in health as a fundamental human right. Her ground-breaking research in HIV prevention contributed to the global response to HIV and AIDS. Our thoughts during this difficult time are with her family, colleagues and the many people her life and work touched.”

The statement highlighted that prior to taking up her appointment as chief scientific officer in HIV prevention at the Aurum Institute, Prof Ramjee was the chief specialist scientist and director of the HIV Prevention Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. She held honorary professorships at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of Cape Town.

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Condolences have been pouring in on social media: