Heart specialist

JUST IN: Zim loses prominent heart specialist

The herald

Sifelani Tsiko
Prominent and eminent Zimbabwe cardiologist Professor James Gita Hakim has died of complications from Covid 19.
He was professor of medicine and former president of the faculty of medicine at UZ.

As news of his death leaked yesterday, there was a wave of grief as the medical fraternity paid tribute to Dr Hakim.
Mr Samkange, a veteran surgeon and director of the UZ Institute of Continuing Health Education (ICHE), described Dr Hakim’s death as a blow to the country.

“Today we lost Professor James Gita Hakim. Professor Hakim was an exceptional doctor. He was an exceptional physician, a fantastic diagnostician and easily took care of his patients deeply but never hesitating to ask if we couldn’t do better. He was a committed teacher, never thinking that too much could be done for the students; a mentor whose commitment to intern development will take some time. He was a natural researcher: unique in that he wanted each colleague to reach their full potential.

He has written so many articles, has been respected and cherished in the region, the continent and around the world. He founded organizations and institutions that developed Medicine, our country and our continent. Although he had to leave his native Sudan at a young age, he never forgot it in his work AND he did a lot more for Zimbabwe than some of us. He will be remembered as a giant, so humble, so imposing and yet so down-to-earth and of overwhelming relevance.

He left a void that will be so hard to feel. Our sincere gratitude to his family for sharing it with us; we pray that they will be comforted in this very difficult time.

Dr Norman Matara said: “We have lost a great professor of medicine, a teacher, a researcher and above all a humble and good person.

“It’s a huge loss for the nation. Go well professor, your contribution to science and medicine will forever be invaluable – heartbroken. “

Dr Hakim studied medicine at Makerere University in Uganda and specialized in internal medicine in Kenya, UK, Germany, Australia and South Africa.

He was an active clinician interested in preventive and therapeutic research in AIDS, including co-infections. Dr Hakim has held a number of positions and portfolios in various local, regional and international organizations.

In 2019, he received the Ward Cates Spirit Award in the United States for his outstanding commitment and leadership in health, scientific excellence, and generosity in mentoring and support.

He was previously the Head of the College of Health Sciences at UZ and Director of the Center for Clinical Research at UZ. He has trained a number of the country’s leading medical experts.

In recent weeks Zimbabwe has lost a number of frontline healthcare workers to the raging Covid 19 pandemic.

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