We are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Kamran Rafiq, co-founder of the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD) and a tireless advocate for a world free of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
DNDi had the pleasure of working with Kamran for many years, and he was a wonderful colleague and friend to many of us. He believed that true and sustainable local leadership was essential to prevent, cure, and ultimately halt NTDs. His work has had a significant impact on the entire NTD community, and he will be remembered for his dedication, commitment, and vision for a world free of NTDs.
‘Kamran was an incredibly dedicated and passionate advocate for NTDs, generous with his time and knowledge, and he always had a smile on his face,’ said Dr Luis Pizarro, Executive Director, DNDi. ‘The global effort to control and eliminate NTDs has benefited enormously from Kamran’s work and personal commitment, and he has been a steady partner to DNDi through the years. We will miss him dearly.’
Kamran worked with DNDi staff in all regions, from the Americas, Europe, Africa, to Asia.
‘I’m terribly sad to hear about the loss of Kamran. My heartfelt condolences go to his family, friends, and colleagues,’ said Dr Monique Wasunna, DNDi Africa Ambassador and former Eastern Africa Director, DNDi. ‘May his legacy and contributions continue to inspire and make a positive impact.’
Over the years, events such as the annual ISNTD Festival and the ISNTD d3 conference organized by Kamran and ISNTD co-founder Marianne Comparet provided important opportunities for DNDi staff and many others to learn, share knowledge, and exchange with the NTD community.
‘This is such sad news. His enthusiasm and energy for the NTD cause will be sadly missed,’ said Charles Mowbray, Discovery Director at DNDi.
Most recently, Kamran had organized a presentation to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria & Neglected Tropical Diseases to raise awareness of the growing global threat of arboviral diseases including dengue, with DNDi’s participation.
‘The loss of Kamran is a shock to all of us who worked with him, and it is difficult to grasp that such a lively, passionate, and committed partner is no longer with us,’ said Neelika Malavige, Head of Dengue Global Programme and Scientific Affairs at DNDi. ‘His dedication to raising awareness about dengue and other NTDs will continue to inspire others. We will do all we can to continue his work.’
Kamran’s legacy will certainly live on through the work that he did to improve the lives of people with NTDs. We send our deepest condolences to Marianne and family, and to Kamran’s many friends and colleagues.