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In Memory of Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan
News > Update      |      Posted: August 7, 2014 03:35:34am GMT
Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan - Principal Investigator, ACEGID

It is with great sadness, and deep regret that we at ACEGID announce the passing away of an exceptional doctor, a humble man, and a loyal friend and our colleague.                                       

Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan was one of the world’s leading experts in the clinical care of viral hemorrhagic fevers. He treated many patients and was one of the physicians caring for the patients suffering from Ebola in Sierra Leone. He was very committed to his work and to his patients not only in searching for treatment but providing the best possible care for those battling the extremely painful virus. Dr. Khan was also In-Charge of the Lassa Fever Program, Kenema Government Hospital (KGH)and physician Specialist Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOH). In his capacity as the Chief Physician of the Lassa Fever Program, KGH, Dr. Khan was concurrently contracted by then United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) as a contract physician and consultant for Lassa fever in Sierra Leone.

ACEGID family and the entire people of Sierra Leone will surely miss Khan, our condolences go out to his family and dear friends.

On behalf of ACEGID,


Kenneth Onye,

Project Manager


Dr. Khan demonstrated bravery where other colleagues of his shied away. He was full of life the last time we he was in Nigeria for the collaborators and investigators meeting. May his soul rest in peace and may God console his family.

Dr. Onikepe Folarin


Through our work together on ACEGID and at KGH I quickly came to consider Dr. Khan a true friend. Personally, he was warm and generous. Professionally, Dr. Khan was a true leader, dedicated and loyal to his calling. This summer he had been invited to Harvard to participate in our summer genomics program, yet he chose to remain in Kenema out of duty to fight the outbreak.

I have been very personally and deeply moved by Dr. Khan's illness and passing.Through the memory of Dr. Khan we are all reminded of the true calling and responsibility of ACEGID.

 Nathan Yozwiak, Ph.D


Tribute to our departed friend and colleague, Dr Humarr Khan

You were such an amiable friend and colleague in the collaborative fight against highly pathogenic organisms in West Africa. So brave and courageous you were. We already started developing together with you a new SOP for the management of Lassa fever and other VHFs for use in Kenema, Irrua and other VHF centers in the sub region. We could not finish before your call to the great beyond. Your wealth of experience and knowledge was invaluable for the development of that document. We will surely miss that. Beyond this we miss your smiles, great courage, amiable personality and boldness. You were as bold as the lion in confronting the Lassa virus and lastly Ebola virus. Africa and indeed the world have lost a rare gem and seasoned Physician. Bye Khan

For the ACEGID team and all Staff members, Institute of Lassa fever research and control, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State, Nigeria

Drs Danny Asogun & Ekaete Tobin


Dr. Kahn is one of those exceptional human beings who chose to use his brilliant mind and many talents in the service of others. He has saved many lives, and touched so many others. I am personally a better person for knowing him, and am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him in this life.  We embarked on a journey together to combat infectious disease through education and empowerment, and we are all committed to seeing his vision through. I will miss his smile and good nature, and will always admire his exceptional bravery, loyalty, and strength.

Pardis Sabeti, MD, DPhil


Dr. Khan had an extraordinary keen intellect and incredible insights. He was a leader of emerging African scientists at the frontline of the prevention and treatment of some of the most dangerous human pathogens. He was very aware of the dangers of his work, but selflessly worked around the clock to ensure that patients received the best possible standard of care. He has saved the lives of many patients and we will miss his extraordinary bravery, immense smile, and amazing talent. I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to work with - and learn from - him.

Dr. Kristian Andersen


The loss of Dr. Khan is a tremendous blow to the scientific and medical community. He dedicated his life, to the very end, to combatting infectious diseases, and we will miss his vision and talent. We continue our work in honor of him, and hope in the end we can achieve something that would have made him proud.

Pan-Pan Jiang, PhD


I am shocked and very sadden to learn about the tragic death of Dr. Kahn. He must have been an extremely courageous, committed, and compassionate person to take on this assignment. Of all the people, he knew the risks and had choices, but he chose to risk his own life to save that of others. This is a tremendous loss to the team, the project, and the region. If you have an opportunity, kindly convey our deepest condolences to the family from the whole Africa Centers of Excellence project team. 


Andreas Blom

Lead Economist

The World Bank


I would like to add my sincere condolences to the passing away of Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan in Sierra Leone while working to safe Ebola patients and communities from harm. As Andreas said, his courage and commitment may serve as a long-lasting example to all of us for our compassion for the people of the West African countries facing this enormous infectious disease challenge. It only goes to show how ever more important the ACE effort is to establish the capacity in West Africa to identify and manage the infectious pathogens among the African populations concerned and the world community that may subsequently be at risk. Dr. Khan's death at his young age will not be in vain and will guide our efforts to overcome and better address in future the threats from infectious disease.

Please do convey our deepest sympathy also to the family of Dr. Khan. May his soul rest in peace.

With kind regards,

Ok Pannenborg                                          




I don’t think I ever saw a man happier than Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan when he was in front of a classroom or giving a lecture or seminar on viral hemorrhagic fever viruses.  This gentleman had a gift for teaching and was well liked and respected by all his students.

He was also a consummate physician. He was always interested in his latest case. The more challenging the presentation the better it was and the more he dug in. He had a burning desire to learn and to be the best doctor he could be.

This desire to improve was also why he was such a great research partner. It was why he wanted to build the Kenema Government Hospital into a world-class center of excellence for research on viral hemorrhagic fevers.

Dr. Khan’s dream will come true.

We will carry on although the road will be much harder without your support and strength. We will honor your memory and wishes by training your fellow countrymen and women in infectious disease and genomic research. We will carry on the good work of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium and the African Center for the Genomics of Infectious Disease.

We will not rest until the dual scourges of Lassa and Ebola are wiped from your dear Salone and the rest of Africa.

Humarr, we miss you terribly.

Robert Gary, Ph.D


Read the profile of Dr. Khan on ACEGID:

Read the profile of Dr. Khan on VHFC:

Read the profile of Dr. Khan on BBC:


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