Tribute to Ivan Toms

27 March 2008 | Story by Newsroom

Ivan Toms

Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Njabulo S Ndebele, has expressed his condolences on the death of Ivan Toms, UCT graduate and director of health at the City of Cape Town, who died on Monday.

"The University of Cape Town deeply mourns the loss of Ivan Toms - an outstanding South African, a fearless activist, colleague and friend," said Ndebele in a statement. "A true son of UCT, Ivan will be remembered for his fierce opposition to apartheid and conscription, as well as for his tenacious campaigning for gay and lesbian rights. His sense of humility and genuine empathy, combined with a deep understanding of the myriad issues that affect health and well-being have made a lasting impact on healthcare in the region.

"We send our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Ivan's family, friends and colleagues."

Toms completed his medical degree at UCT in 1976, and also served as director of UCT's Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) between 1993 and 1996.

Together with Dr Wendy Orr and a committed group of UCT staff and students, he was instrumental in setting up the Students' HIV/AIDS Resistance Programme, known as SHARP, the first university-run HIV/AIDS peer-education programme in South Africa. SHARP allowed UCT students to run workshops around HIV and AIDS for other students and school pupils in the metropolitan area.

In addition, Toms lectured regularly at UCT.

The Faculty of Health Sciences will host a memorial service for Toms on the evening of Thursday, 27 March.

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