It’s been five years since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over Eastern Ukraine. All 298 on board were killed, including our director Prof. Joep Lange and colleague Jacqueline van Tongeren, who were on their way to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

Joep was the founding father of Pharmaccess Foundation, the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development and AHTI, the animator of our mission and the architect of our interdisciplinary approach. Jacqueline was key to turning Joep’s plans into reality and was the driving force, as director Communications, behind major AIGHD activities such as the INTEREST Workshops, which has become the premier scientific HIV conference in Africa.

Joep and Jacqueline were mentors, inspirers and close friends to many of us and their sudden loss left an irreparable void in our organization.

Joep’s vision was bold: he wanted to ensure that every single person in the world, regardless of where they live, has access to good-quality health care and this vision was at the heart of any work he undertook. He understood that global health issues are complex and require collaborative solutions. Since their untimely passing, we’ve continued this legacy, bringing professionals together across disciplines to address the very global health issues he sought to solve during his career.

They are dearly missed.