South African doctor, diplomat and MMV Board member will be sorely missed.
Dr Konji Sebati passed away peacefully at her home in South Africa on Saturday the 15 May 2021 after a courageous and lengthy battle with cancer.
During her remarkable life, Konji made a lasting impact on public health in her native South Africa and beyond. She overcame great obstacles in her early years under the apartheid regime and to achieve her goal of becoming a medical doctor. Konji then became a clinic and hospital administrator, and eventually also a strong believer in the ability of African R&D to make a difference for African public health. She transitioned to the pharmaceutical sector in 1993, with an emphasis on championing breakthrough research.
During the last 5 years, as head of the Innovative Pharmaceutical Association of South Africa (IPASA), she focused on the importance of R&D-driven companies, and of investing in the capacity of South African’s pharmaceutical manufacturing industry to improve access to life-saving medicines.
Konji joined MMV’s Board in 2015 bringing with her a wealth of experience. She provided critical support to MMV, not only as a Board member, but also as a friend. She was a woman of vision and recognized the value of innovative industry, community level government as well as that of partnerships, a key element of MMV’s work model.
“We will miss Konji as a wise Board member, a key leader in global health and a fierce and determined champion in the field of access to health care for the underprivileged, particularly in Africa,” said Dr David Reddy, CEO of MMV. “Her legacy will live on through the many projects that she helped nurture.”
MMV extends sincere condolences to Dr Sebati’s family, friends and colleagues. Konji will be sorely missed and remembered by her friends at MMV above all for her warmth, compassion, optimism and humour.