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Prof. Peter Ndumbe Dies In South Africa
Thursday, May 23, 2013

By Walter Wilson Nana -- Prof. Peter Martins Ndumbe, eminent Cameroonian Professor of Immunology, is no more. Prof. Ndumbe died Tuesday, May 14, in a hospital in South Africa.


Late Prof Peter Ndumbe

According to family sources, he fell sick in his World Health Organisation, WHO office of operations in Brazzaville, Congo, and was rushed to South Africa, where he gave up the ghost.
Peter Martins Ndumbe was born in Mbonge, Meme Division, Southwest Region. Until his demise, he was a Medical Doctor specialised in Infectious Disease, Immunology and Clinical Epidemiology.

He obtained the Doctor of Medicine Degree in 1978, from the University Centre for Health Sciences, University of Yaoundé, with Mention tres honourable. From 1981 to 82, he attended the London School of Hygiene and graduated with a Master of Science in Medical Microbiology and a PhD in Immunology.


The deceased served in various administrative and professional positions. These include; Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I from 1999 to 2006. From 2006 – May 2011, he was redeployed to the University of Buea, UB, as Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, taking over from the pioneer Dean, Prof. Theodosia McMoli, who had gone on retirement.

Thanks to research and hard work, Peter Ndumbe, from 1997 became a Professor of Virus Immunology at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Yaoundé I. He did serve as Director of the Centre for the Study and Control of Communicable Diseases in the same university.

Prof. Ndumbe was a member of several national, international professional and academic societies. Since 2003 until his death, he was the Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, STAC of UNICEF, UNDP, WORLD BANK and WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, TDR. He was a founding member and chair of the Task Force on Immunisation for the African Region since 2004, with the responsibility to look out for a new vaccine against tuberculosis, malaria and HIV.

Prof. Ndumbe is the 2nd Vice President of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences, member of the Cameroon Medical Association since 1979, member of the Institute of Biology, UK, since 1989, member of the International AIDS Society since 1990, member of the Society on AIDS in Africa since 1991. The erudite medic consulted for GTZ in the training of medical officers for the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon in HIV/AIDS management.

After he was replaced as the Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, UB, in May 2011, he joined the WHO AFRO OFFICE in Brazzaville, Congo, as the Director of Library, Science and Publication.
Prof Ndumbe will be mourned by two children and hordes of friends in the world of science, medicine and academia. At press time, the funeral and burial programmes were yet to be made public. 

First published in The Post print edition no 01431



Cameroun - Nécrologie

Cameroun - Nécrologie: Le Pr. Peter Ndumbe est mort

Le monde de la médecine et de la recherche scientifique a perdu un membre éminent.


Le monde de la médecine et de la recherche scientifique a perdu un membre éminent. Le Pr. Peter Ndumbe, ancien doyen de la Faculté de médecine et de sciences biomédicales (Fmsb) de Yaoundé, est décédé dans la nuit de lundi à mardi en Afrique du Sud, après un long combat contre la maladie.

Au cours de sa carrière, il a occupé de nombreuses responsabilités, notamment comme Vice-Président du Comité scientifique du Centre international de référence Chantal Biya pour la recherche sur la prévention et la prise en charge du VIH/Sida (Circb). II a également été responsable de la recherche, de la documentation et des traductions au Bureau régional de l'OMS pour l'Afrique, mais aussi membre du Conseil d'administration du Centre hospitalier de recherche et d'application en chirurgie endoscopique et reproduction humaine (Chracerh). Nous y reviendrons dans notre prochaine édition. 

Josy MAUGER | Cameroon Tribune Publié : Mercredi le 15 Mai 2013 09:17:17 



Loss of / Disparition du Professeur Peter M. NDUMBE, Chair of the 66th FICSA Council / Président du 66ème Conseil de la FICSA

Dear Colleagues,

It is with deep sadness that we have to announce the sudden loss of Professor Peter NDUMBE on Tuesday, 14 May.  For those of you who attended the 66th FICSA Council, held at the WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville from 4-8 February 2013, you will remember Peter for the wonderful job he did in chairing the session.  His professionalism, calm and unstinted sense of humour were highly appreciated by all.  

On behalf of all FICSA members, we convey our most sincere condolences to the family of the late Pr NDUMBE.


Chers collègues,

C’est avec une profonde tristesse que nous vous devons de vous annoncer la disparition soudaine du Professeur Peter Ndumbe, le mardi 14 mai. Pour ceux d'entre vous qui ont assisté au 66ème Conseil de la FICSA, qui s'est tenu au Bureau régional de l'OMS pour l'Afrique à Brazzaville du 4 au 8 février 2013, vous vous souviendrez de Peter pour le magnifique travail qu'il a accompli à la présidence de la session. Son professionnalisme, son calme et sa bonne humeur ont été très appréciés par tous.

Au nom de tous les membres de la FICSA, nous adressons nos plus sincères condoléances à la famille de feu Professeur Ndumbe.

Best regards/Cordialement,

Egbe Monjimbo June 10, 2013

(TDR is based at and executed by the World Health Organization (WHO), and is sponsored by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and WHO.)

In memorial: Peter Ndumbe

TDR news item 

31 May 2013

It was with deep sadness that we learned of the death of our colleague, Professor Peter Martins Ndumbe, on 14 May in South Africa after a long illness. Peter had most recently been Programme Manager (Research, Publications and Library Services) at the WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo.

Dr Peter Ndumbe

Peter was Chair of TDR’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) from 2006-2010, after years of other activities and committee assignments. Under his guidance, the focus shifted to support the development of research leadership in low- and middle-income countries, and to support locally owned priority setting of research agendas. Sue Block Tyrrell, then head of External Relations, called him “a champion for Africa and for TDR,” adding he “chaired STAC with these aims in mind.”

Robert Ridley, who was Director of TDR at the time, recalls, “I remember one of his frequent questions at STAC whenever priority research was being discussed. It was not 'what is the question?' But 'who asked the question?' If we want to assist people we must address their questions, not our own, especially if full of Northern preconceptions.”

Making an impact on African students

Peter was a native of Cameroon, where he had been the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Yaounde, and later Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Buea during his tenure as STAC chair. He had the opportunity to impact many African medical and science students, and to encourage them to get involved in their health systems, to identify the local needs and work with global partners to drive the needed research.

His stature in life and spirit will be remembered by all and missed very dearly. Peter represented the perfect combination of the highest scientific and human competence. He never failed to contribute with his enormous expertise, his eloquence and wonderful sense of humor. He uplifted the spirit of any meeting.

Rolf Korte, former Joint Coordinating Board chair

“He had a deep underlying affection for so many people, especially his students, whom he primarily wanted to 'think for themselves' and to ask their own questions,” said Robert Ridley.

“Before anything, I feel that he fought for fairness because he knew what it is to live in the middle of unfairness and inequity,” said Dr Jorge Motta, who was one of the chairs of TDR’s Joint Coordinating Board (JCB) who worked with Peter. “He was the perfect example of someone highly educated, amicable, witty and truly dedicated to the welfare of others.”

Peter worked with several JCB chairs during his tenure, and he made a big impact on their thinking, always reinforcing the need to see the problem from the country perspective. “He fended for science and scientists in Africa, in WHO for a healthier world and for academia in his own country,” said Rolf Korte, a former JCB chair.

A love of celebration

Peter was also well known for his love of celebration – he used dinners and other events to bring people together outside the official arena and create even stronger bonds. He was a skilled toast master, who always found the right story or anecdote to draw out laughter but also share a keen perception of the person he was toasting.

Rolf Korte sums up the feeling of many. “His stature in life and spirit will be remembered by all and missed very dearly. Peter represented the perfect combination of the highest scientific and human competence. He never failed to contribute with his enormous expertise, his eloquence and wonderful sense of humor. He uplifted the spirit of any meeting.”

For more information, please contact

Ms Jamie Guth
TDR Communications Manager
Telephone: +41 79 441 2289



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