A prominent Zimbabwean cardiologist, Dr James Gita Hakim, has died from COVID-19 related complications.
Dr Hakim was formerly head of the UZ College of Health Sciences and director of the UZ Clinical Research Centre.
He studied medicine at the University of Makerere in Uganda and specialised in internal medicine in Kenya, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and South Africa.
He also held a number of positions and portfolios in various local, regional and international bodies and in 2019, he received the Ward Cates Spirit award in the United States.
Veteran surgeon and director of the University of Zimbabwe Institute of Continuing Health Education (ICHE), Christopher Samkange, described Dr Hakim as an exceptional doctor and fantastic diagnostician. He said:
Today we lost Professor James Gita Hakim. Professor Hakim was an exceptional physician. He was an exceptional medical doctor, fantastic diagnostician and easily caring for his patients deeply, but never hesitated to ask if we could not do better.
He was a committed teacher, never thinking that one could do too much for the students; a mentor whose commitment to the development of the trainees will take some passing.
Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) secretary-general Norman Matara said Dr Hakim’s death is a great loss to the nation. He said:
We have lost a great professor of medicine, a teacher, researcher, and above all a humble and good person.
This is a huge loss for the nation. Go well professor, your contribution to science and medicine will forever be invaluable – broken heart.
Dr Hakim is among prominent Zimbabweans who have died from COVID-19 in the past few weeks, with three cabinet ministers also succumbing to the respiratory illness.