“To those who regularly visit Sub-Saharan Africa, the pace of change is indeed astonishing, and there are many reasons to be optimistic about the region. We should, however, also realize that very little has changed for the poor in rural settings, and that the lives of those who left for urban slums are extremely difficult. To include these groups in the ‘Great Escape’ from poverty is the big challenge ahead.”

– Joep Lange, July 2014

Joep Lange was a prominent doctor, scientist and activist. He was a pioneer in his academic field and ahead of his time in his drive to convert science into action. He never shied away from pointing out the real issues and worked tirelessly to address them. He had neither the time nor the patience to concern himself with political sensitivities. The patient always came first, whether it was one of his own patients in the Netherlands or someone he had never met in a country where proper care was out of reach.

In 1996 he discovered the link between serological response patterns to HIV infection and the speed at which HIV progresses, providing the rationale for the use of combination antiretroviral drugs. It was combination therapy that transformed HIV from a death sentence into a manageable chronic condition. After this discovery it dumbfounded Joep to see how little was being done for Africa, where millions of people were dying of AIDS. “Everything is there, the fact that HIV/AIDS treatment is not available in Africa, is at best lack of will mixed with stupidity. At worst it is racism. I am afraid there is a lot of the latter: apparently a life in Africa is worth less.”

He made it his mission to get people in Africa on treatment. He started clinical trials, pioneering treatment for pregnant mothers to stop transmission to their newborn children. The results were astounding. Then he partnered with the private sector: Heineken was the first to join, treating their employees in six African countries as early as 2001. This proved that it was possible and affordable to take antiretroviral treatment to Africa, and that the private sector could play an important role in this public good that we call healthcare. The success of this effort laid the foundation for what would later become the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

As part of his mission to fight for inclusive quality healthcare, Joep founded both AIGHD and PharmAccess with the aim of achieving optimal impact through their complementary activities in research and action respectively. He pushed the envelope in the field of global health. Not only did he contribute to the way in which we fight AIDS today, he was also a trailblazer in a new approach to development aid: conducting groundbreaking research, applying innovations, setting up controversial partnerships with the private sector and testing new financing mechanisms in countries where no one thought it would be possible.

Indeed, more than once Joep showed the world that “nothing is impossible, especially if it is inevitable.”

Joep’s vision forms the DNA of the Joep Lange Institute, and we are honored to continue building on what he left behind.

Joep Lange Chair & Fellows program

The Joep Lange Institute is complemented by the Joep Lange Chair and Fellows Program. This academic program is housed within the Global Health department of the Amsterdam Academic Medical Centre (University of Amsterdam) with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In our view, making health markets work for the poor has three crucial dimensions. An effective healthcare exchange depends on institutions and trust in the system. Second, understanding human behavior is essential in order to make our approach as effective as possible. Finally, technology can be used to better connect people to quality healthcare, facilitate medical quality improvement on the supply side and support behavioral interventions on the demand side.

The Chair and Fellows program brings together experts from different backgrounds and geographies to collaborate on research that will help drive change in the field of Global Health. This multidisciplinary approach is echoed in the unique rotating character of the Chair, which will welcome five professors from different fields of expertise in five years. In partnership with the top academic institutes in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States, the Chairs and Fellows will focus on building the knowledge base of global health and working together with organizations who can apply these insights to improve access to quality healthcare across the globe.

The first two Chairs were appointed in 2016: Mark Dybul, Executive Director at the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Dan Ariely, world-renowned behavioral economist from Duke University. Both highly distinguished Chairs will apply their specialist background to conducting research to make healthcare more affordable and accessible in situations where the system fails the people.

 

Link to Joep Lange Institute page
Link to Chairs page
Link to Purpose page
Link to Updates page
  • November 9, 2016 Watch the lecture by Dan Ariely on what health can learn from behavioral... Read More
  • November 7, 2016 If there’s one field that can’t afford to ignore behavioral economics, it’s health. That's... Read More
  • October 13, 2016 How to help your patients make better health decisions - Dan Ariely shares eyeopening insights... Read More
Watch Dan Ariely Lecture: “We know what is the right thing to do, but still we don’t do it” – November 9, 2016

Watch the lecture by Dan Ariely on what health can learn from behavioral economics

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Prof. Dan Ariely: What can health learn from behavioral economics? – November 7, 2016

If there’s one field that can’t afford to ignore behavioral economics, it’s health. That's why we appointed Dan Ariely as Chair of the Joep Lange Chair and Fellows program.

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Professor Dan Ariely delivers the next Joep Lange Institute Lecture – October 13, 2016

How to help your patients make better health decisions - Dan Ariely shares eyeopening insights from behavioral economics

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Nieuwsuur featured the Joep Lange Institute on HIV Drug Resistant children in Uganda – July 18, 2016

Last Sunday 17th of July, Nieuwsuur the Dutch news television program aired an item of the growing problem of HIV drug resistant children in Uganda.

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Dr. Jim Kim calls for next generation activists to tackle global health challenges – July 6, 2016

Earlier today, World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim delivered a highly inspiring and activating first Joep Lange Institute Lecture

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Dr. Jim Yong Kim delivers the first Joep Lange Institute Lecture – June 30, 2016

World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim to deliver
the first Joep Lange Institute Lecture

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Lecture – June 28, 2016

Joep Lange Institute Lecture Livestream on 5 July 2016 14:30 (CEST)

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Compilation: inaugural event of the Joep Lange Institute – May 31, 2016

Princess Mabel van Oranje neatly summarized what brought more than 400 people together at the inaugural event of the Joep Lange Institute on Tuesday 15 March 2016.

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AMC announced Joep Lange chairs – May 20, 2016

AMC Magazine ​​has just announced the first two chairs of the Joep Lange Institute in its​ latest issue

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The Optimist – Michiel Borstlap – April 27, 2016

Dutch pianist and composer Michiel Borstlap wrote a playful and colorful melody of optimism in the midst of the sadness surrounding Joep’s death. The revenues from the song will go to the Joep Lange Institute.

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Contact

Joep Lange Institute
Paasheuvelweg 25, Wing 5D
1105 BP Amsterdam Zuidoost
The Netherlands

Telephone +31 (0) 20 303 10 52
Purpose

The Joep Lange Institute is an activist institute, inspired by the life and work of Joep Lange. We combine science, activism, and pragmatism to reach our goal: making health markets work for the poor where the system fails the people.

To achieve this goal we analyze the obstacles and failures in healthcare today, asking inconvenient questions when necessary. We come up with concrete solutions for healthcare quality, access and finance. We develop and test these on the ground, to see what works and what doesn’t. We advocate to scale those that have real impact for real people.

Over the last two decades, through the organizations Joep founded,  we’ve been pioneers in the delivery of HIV/AIDS treatment in Africa, and in working with the private sector in the public interest. We’ve set up health insurance for the poor, introduced quality standards for basic health clinics in Africa, and made loans available to them. Over time, we even became one of the largest private equity investors in African healthcare. Our emphasis on rigorous research has led to breakthroughs in treatment and delivery. Combined, our programs reach millions of people each month.

Keeping the patient at the heart of our approach, the Joep Lange Institute will work relentlessly with researchers and public and private partners. We believe technology is the way to connect those who are structurally excluded. It can reduce barriers to saving as well as paying for health, generate data to reduce risk and increase knowledge, and be a conduit for training and education. Many of these solutions for better access to care are available right now, the challenge is to get them implemented.

Joep taught us never to accept the constraints imposed by the status quo or by fear. Such hesitations are counterproductive for the people we want to serve. We make a radical choice for the facts, and a radical choice for people.

Bad healthcare not only undermines the health of individuals, it drives families and communities into poverty. We challenge the brightest minds and thought leaders to be part of a strategic agenda to make health markets work for the poor.

Do you have interesting ideas or research topics that you would like to share? Please send these to info@joeplangeinstitute.org