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Farewell Armand Van Deun

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The Union is very sad to learn that Armand Van Deun, a remarkable public health physician and long-time Union member, passed away on 21 September 2023.

Armand Van Deun was a renowned scientist from Belgium, with an additional specialty in microbiology.

Armand was a brilliant yet deeply humble person.  He had worked closely with the late Karel Styblo in Tanzania in the 1970s and 80s. He had a profound understanding of the challenges in tuberculosis control in low-income countries. He devoted himself to finding solutions for the fight against tuberculosis in such resource-limited settings. He focused on quality assurance of diagnosis and quality of treatment. He knew how crucial it was to prevent the emergence of acquired resistance to anti-tuberculosis core drugs, notably rifampicin, fluoroquinolone, and bedaquiline by using and designing proper tuberculosis chemotherapy regimens.

Armand was the pioneer for the first short, highly effective, and inexpensive regimen for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. The regimen was suitable and designed for usage in settings without the capacity for drug susceptibility testing. The regimen owed it's sterilizing efficacy to the combined use of high-dose gatifloxacin paired with clofazimine. The so-called “Bangladesh regimen” is documented to have cured thousands of people with TB before bedaquiline became available.

Prof Guy Marks, President and Interim Executive Director, said: “Armand always had deepest concern about both the people for whom and the people with whom he worked.  He will be greatly missed for his humanity and his enormous contributions to tuberculosis prevention, care, and cure will endure.”