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It is with great sadness that I share with you the news of the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Professor Tsutomu Takeuchi.
Many of you will have already seen the lovely WHO obituary. It tells of his life as a driving force behind the global momentum that we see today towards the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases. In both his homeland of Japan and on the global platform, he succeeded in helping change the lives of so many people for the better.
He is best known in the scientific community for his seminal work on malaria, but perhaps his major public health contribution was to raise global political awareness of NTDs, especially deworming, through the HashimotoInitiative and its focus on how Japan had in earlier days fought and won the fight against these diseases.
He held many esteemed positions, and despite battling ongoing health issues, he still took the time to become a member of the Partnership for Child Development's Advisory Board. He was a great man, a wise man, and always so humble. We all looked to him as a mentor and a font of wisdom, not just about worms, but on life as a whole.
He recently invited a few of us to visit Kyoto with him. He was as always the gracious host, taking us to some of the most historically and philosophically important Shinto and Buddhist sites in Japan, introducing us to the culture he loved. He must have known then that this would likely be our last visit together.
He was a wonderful person to be around. He was fun, willing and with a very mischievous and infectious smile. He brightened the room.
I write on behalf of all at the Partnership for Child Development to send sincere condolences to his family and friends who he held so dear.
Takeuchi san, your kind soul will be sorely missed.
Dr Lesley Drake
Executive Director, PCD