14 July 2020. The TB community lost a passionate leader to COVID-19.
Professor Lovett Lawson, currently Patron of Stop TB Partnership (STP) Nigeria, and ex Board Chair of Stop TB Nigeria from 2015 to 2019, a great friend and supporter of Stop TB Partnership Secretariat here in Geneva, passed away yesterday. We are grieved by this tremendous loss to the TB community and the world.
His contribution to STP Nigeria and to the fight against TB is difficult to capture in words. He was a strategic thinker and a visionary who gave much to the development of STP Nigeria. As Board Chair for STP Nigeria, Prof Lawson led the efforts for strategic engagement of key stakeholders in TB response as well as the planning for several high-level TB events in Nigeria, including the National TB Conferences in 2016 and 2019; creation and launching of Nigeria Parliamentary TB Caucus; Gala Night to honour TB Champions and Survivors hosted by the First Lady of Nigeria; Resource Mobilization Forum for TB with Lagos State Government; Public-Private Partnership among many others.
As chief medical director of Zankli Medical Centre in Abuja, Prof Lawson described his research laboratory as a "passion" that complements his principal assignment of running a 40-bed medical centre. He was passionate about making available the world’s latest diagnostic technology in his laboratory for research and for benefitting people of Nigeria. He cared deeply about the people under his care and worked tirelessly to make access to TB treatment available to all.
Prof Lawson was a great human being, always on the move - on the move to improve TB treatment, on the move to innovate and on the move to end TB! To several of us at STP in Geneva, he was a great advisor, a true friend and a big inspiration. We will miss him dearly. To honour his life, career, and passion we commit to put all our efforts to end infectious diseases and make the world a better place.