Hamba kahle Tata Nelson Mandela: MSF pays tribute to "the greatest humanitarian"

6 Dec 2013
Related Countries
South Africa

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) extends heartfelt condolences to the Mandela family, South Africans and all those whose lives were touched by Nelson Mandela during his 95 years.

His life was spent in the service of his fellow man while he worked to improve the lives of people suffering marginalisation and discrimination – irrespective of race, religion, creed or political convictions.

Mandela played a pivotal role in the fight against HIV and AIDS in South Africa by taking a stand in support of the needs of people living with HIV for life-saving antiretroviral treatment.

"Greatest humanitarian"

“Mandela is the greatest humanitarian I ever met. Once convinced of the right cause, he gave the impression nothing could stop his determination. He showed compassion and uncompromising leadership on issues of principle – regardless of the potential political consequences,” said Dr Eric Goemaere, MSF’s HIV-TB Coordinator for southern Africa.

“Mandela donned his gloves to fight HIV publicly. He supported the HIV programme MSF was running. To show solidarity he wore an “HIV POSITIVE” T-shirt during a visit the programme in 2002. That image was broadcast around the world. It was then we felt something had shifted in the halls of power,” Goemaere recalled.

We will keep your memory alive

Hamba kahle Tata Nelson Mandela.

We will keep your memory alive in bringing emergency medical care to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare -irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

Read more about MSF's work on HIV

Read more about MSF's work in South Africa