President Cyril Ramaphosa says the late Professor Hoosen Jerry Coovadia was an outstanding scientist whose role in the Struggle for liberation will be remembered for generations to come.
He said Coovadia’s research into mother-to-child transmission of HIV has left an indelible mark in the world.
He said Coovadia’s death was not only a loss to South Africa, but to the world, as he was an icon in the medical sector.
Coovadia died on Wednesday at his home in Durban.
Ramaphosa said the world will remember him for what he has achieved over the years in pursuing freedom, democracy and medical research.
“Jerry Coovadia was an outstanding scientist and committed anti-apartheid campaigner who dedicated himself to our liberation struggle. He also dedicated himself to the physical wellbeing and social inclusion of people all over the world through his enterprising mission as a scientist and architect of public health policies.
“His pioneering, globally-acclaimed research into mother-to-child transmission of HIV has rendered an immeasurable legacy to humanity, in terms of which, persons living with HIV are able to live long and healthy lives, subject to early detection and access to treatment.
“Our nation’s loss will be felt globally, but we can take pride at and comfort from the emergence of a giant of science and an icon of compassion and resilience from our country,” said Ramaphosa.
The ANC also said it was saddened by the death of Coovadia.
It described him as a pioneer in the field of medicine.
It said he received numerous awards for his role in the medical sector.
ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said Coovadia had been involved in groundbreaking medical research in his career.
But his life was not only in that sector, as he was also part of the liberation Struggle.
“Among his accolades, which he effectively used in a self-effacing manner, he was a researcher, author, medical scientist and activist. He used these multifaceted roles to advance the cause of human dignity, progress, and a just and fairer world. His vast knowledge and groundbreaking contributions to medical research leave South Africa and the world poorer,” said Bhengu-Motsiri.
She said the world has lost a giant in the medical sector whose contribution was unquestionable.