Dr. Bongani Kaimila of Lilongwe, Malawi, tragically and unexpectedly passed away at the age of 36 on November 4, 2022. The accident also claimed the life of his father. He is survived by his wife Eunice Kaimila, principal of the Adziwa Christian School, and their four young children. A GoFundMe account will help Bogani’s wife and children have the support to realize what their father envisioned for his children. Please consider making a gift in his memory–using this link.
“Bongani was a dedicated parent and partner, and a cherished friend and colleague,” said Yuri Fedoriw, MD, member of the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases (IGHID), professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and co-director of the UNC Project Malawi Cancer Program. “His loss is a great tragedy to his family, local community, our UNC program, and to cancer patients in Malawi.”
Dr. Kaimila graduated from the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences in 2009 (formerly known as the College of Medicine) and joined UNC Project Malawi in 2014, becoming a rising star of esophageal cancer research in the region. He was a brilliant researcher and principal investigator of many research activities designed to understand, detect and treat esophageal cancer in the African context. He was also active with the international research community, including the AIDS Malignancy Consortium and the African Esophageal Cancer Consortium.
“Bongani was a true physician scientist,” said Irving Hoffman, PA, MPH, international director of UNC-Project Malawi and a member of IGHID. “He provided cancer care at the highest level available in Malawi–with one goal in mind through his very productive esophageal cancer research–to relieve suffering and reduce the burden of disease in Malawi. Bongani also lived and believed in the UNC spirit of service, as a physician scientist of the people and for the people. His loss is irreplaceable.”
In addition to being a highly acclaimed researcher at the UNC Project Malawi Cancer Program, Dr. Kaimila was known as a caring physician and friend at the Malawi Cancer Clinic, where through the years, thousands of cancer patients were treated under his direction.
At the time of his death, Dr. Kaimila was months away from receiving his PhD from the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences with plans to expand his esophageal work and independent research.
A GoFundMe account has been established to raise funds that will go directly towards scholarships for his children.