STAFF OF THE MKAPA FOUNDATION AND PARTNERS DONATES BLOOD TO SAVE LIVES

The workforce within the Benjamin William Mkapa foundation together with their families, friends and Institutional partners decided to commemorate the Foundation 10 years anniversary, by donating blood to save lives of many people in need. The exercise was carried at the Muhimbili National Hospital on 18th March 2016.

Prisca MbeswaGervas Kamali, a Lab Assistant employed by BMF through Abbott Fund preparing Ms. Prisca Mbeswa, BMF Finance Manager during a blood donation day

This half a day event which took place at Muhimbili National Hospital, was joyfully participated by more than 30 people that were felt the urge to donate at least 500mls of blood each to be utilized by patients. Accompanying the staff of BMF were spouses/partners, family friends as well as Institutional supporters. Some staff from Montage Limited and Resolution Insurance were amongst those that donated blood on this day.

Speaking during the event, the CEO of BMF Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro, said that the Foundation will be commemorating a decade anniversary since inception on 13th April 2016, hence they have decided to give back to the community as staff by donating blood in an effort to reduce the shortage of blood in Tanzania. The blood is essential for human life and it is noted that many patients are in need of it such as those suffering from Cancers, undergoing surgeries, women giving child birth, children suffering from many diseases and people who encounter accidents and trauma.

“According to the statistics its shows that Tanzania needs 400,000 – 450,000 blood units per year and the available is 38%.  Therefore 62% unit is required to overcome the shortage, hence we felt the urge to also come and join effort in reducing this shortage” said Dr. Ellen.

Dr. Ellen also mentioned that BMF has been supporting the Government in strengthening regional hospitals laboratory through the financial support of Abbott Fund. “In ensuring there are quality laboratory services within the country, through the financial assistance from the Abbott Fund, the Mkapa Foundation have innovatively recruited more than 129 laboratory technical staff all over the country. Among them, 15 are placed at the Muhimbili National Hospital. We are happy to see, some of them are these ones serving us here today” said Dr. Ellen.

bmfThe head of Damu Salamaa unit in Muhimbili Hospital Hilda Maya congratulated and thanked BMF for the support they have provided to the unit. In her statement she said the shortage of blood is still a greater challenge at both regional and national level.

Head Damu SalamaHead of Damu Salama Unit in Muhimbili Hospital Hilda Maya giving a word of appreciation to the BMF team for donating blood.

“We do encourage that all those who have donated blood today should be voluntary and registered blood donors, thus continue with donating blood every quarter or twice a year. We trust you will now be reliable donors of blood”. Said Hilda Maya

Moreover this blood donation activity was also carried out simultaneously with our team in the field offices.

Gady ChuwaMr. Gadi Chuwa donating blood at Damu Salama offices while in Dodoma for official duties.

ChairmanThe Chairman of the BMF Board of Trustees, Amb. Charles A. Sanga together with BMF staff before departing to the Muhimbili National Hospital to donate blood

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LINDI RECEIVES 60 NEWLY CONSTRUCTED STAFF HOUSES FROM BENJAMIN WILLIAM MKAPA FOUNDATION

The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) in its efforts to continue strengthening health systems in the underserved area through a collaborative project with the Ministry of Health handed over newly constructed 60 staff houses in Lindi region on 11th March 2016. This is an initiative to enhance staff retention in remote areas to combat shortage of health workforce financed by the Global Fund to fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Round 9.

The half day ceremony took place at Mnali dispensary in Lindi region and it was graced by Hon. Jordan Rugimbana, the Regional Commissioner of Lindi region and attended by local villagers and officials from the Government.

Jordani RugimbanaHon. Jordan Rugimbana Regional Commissioner of Lindi cutting a tape to officiate the handing over of 60 constructed staff house in Lindi Region.

In his speech during the inauguration ceremony, Hon. Rugimbana thanked the Settlor of the Foundation, H.E Benjamin W Mkapa, the former president of Tanzania for his vision to establish an Institution that helps improves the lives of Tanzanians. He continued expressing his gratitude to the Foundation for its continuous support to Lindi region and other regions of Tanzania and further requested that BMF to continue joining hands with the President, Hon. John Pombe Magufuli who has clearly been touched by aspect of improving the health status of Tanzanians in general.

He urged the Local Government Authority (LGAs) on the proper utilization of the staff houses and ensuring they are used for the intended purpose. He directed the district officials to ensure the availability of health workers, equipment and drugs to the health centers that have benefited today.

“The district should set aside enough funds as per the guidelines to ensure maintenance of these constructed staff houses and other building is done accordingly in order to provide better health services to the citizens” said Hon.

VillagersVillagers, anxiously waiting to witness the handing over ceremony at Mnali Health Facility

Addressing the guest of honor, local government officials and villagers, the Deputy Chairperson of the BMF Board of Trustees Dr. Adeline Kimambo said that Mkapa foundation was established by the Former President of the URT H.E Benjamin William Mkapa in 2006 with the aim of complimenting the government’s efforts in strengthening health systems in Tanzania particularly in the underserved regions. One among other efforts of strengthening health systems is the reduction of shortage of health workers in the underserved regions through provision of scholarship to health allied students who after completion are required to work in areas with high need of health workers, also the recruitment of health workers who are posted to the remote areas and construction of staff houses as a means of attracting workers to work in the underserved regions.

Rahel Sheiza

Rahel Sheiza Director of Programs BMF, greeting Hon. Jordan Rugimbana the Regional Commissioner of Lindi, standing beside them is Dr. Adeline Kimambo, Deputy Chair of the BMF Board of Trustees.

In her speech she continues that BMF through support from Global Fund Round 9 have constructed 60 houses in Lindi which are distributed as follows: Kilwa(10), Lindi DC (10), Lindi MC (10), Nachingwea DC (10), Runngwa DC (10) and Liwale DC (10) in Lindi. This house will help to reduce the gap of shortage of staff houses within the region and attract more skilled health workers. 

Allen NdombaThe GOH, Hon Jordan Rugimbana giving the handing over certificate to Mr. Allen Ndomba,  the Legal Officer for Lindi MC, who represented the Executive Director of Lindi Municipal Council

Lastly the Mkapa Foundation to certify that it has completed the assigned task by the Ministry of Health it handed over the Certifcates of handing over to the Ministry of Health. The Guest of honor facilitated that process and finally handed over the Certificates of handing over to the Districts Executive Directors (DED) of the six districts that have benefit with new staff houses.

The community around and villagers bursted with joy as they witnessed receiving the staff houses.

‘We are so happy to have the staff houses for the health staff and we thank Mkapa Foundation for considering Mnali health facility, as this will lead to a better service in our village’….said Mr. Rashid Mkulungwa Kajole, the village chairperson

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BMF CONTINUES REACHING THE VULNERABLE IN UNDERSERVED AREAS

The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) in its efforts to continue strengthening health systems in the underserved area through a collaborative project with the Ministry of Health handed over newly constructed 19 staff house in Rukwa and Katavi region on 27th February 2016. This is an initiative to enhance staff retention in remote areas to combat shortage of health workforce financed by the Global Fund to fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Round 9.

The half day ceremony took place at Kabungu health center in Katavi region and witnessed by the villagers and local authorities, and it was graced by the Former Prime Minister of Tanzania, Hon. Mizengo Kayanza Pinda as the guest of honor.

Mizengo PindaHon. Mizengo Kayanza Pinda after cutting a tape to officiate the handing over of staff house in Rukwa & Katavi, standing on the right is the CEO of BMF Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro and on the left is Dr. Gowelle of the Ministry of Health

In his speech during the inauguration ceremony, Hon. Pinda said that he is pleased with the effort of the government in collaboration with BMF in ensuring the national objective for strengthening human resource for health is achieved at highest speed. He further mentioned continues that despite the achievement attained by the Government, but the country is still facing the severe shortage of health workers which is at 52% short of the required number of skilled health workers.

He thus urged the local government authorities that health centers that have staff houses built within the premises, must quickly be occupied by the intended health cadres, to ensure provision of good health services. He also directed the authorities to  ensure availability of medical tools, equipment and pharmaceuticals at all time at the health centers and dispensaries. “It is important to set adequate budget for the maintenance of these handed over staff house to facilitate better living condition for the health workers” said Hon. Mizengo Kayanza Pinda.

Health Workers KabunguHealth workers and village leaders of Kabungu village

Addressing the guest of honor and attendees at the ceremony the CEO of BMF Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro said construction of staff houses in underserved areas is among the responsibility of the foundation tasked by the Ministry of Health as per signed agreement in 2011/12. A total of 480 staff house are being constructed in 51 districts within the country, of which 30 are located in Rukwa region within the districts of Sumbawanga municipal (10), Sumbawanga rural (4), Kalambo (6), and Nkasi (10) as well as 10 houses are located in Katavi region within Mpanda district (5), Nsimbo (2), and Mlele(3).

“ 20 out of total 40 staff houses constructed within the two regions, were handed over in September 2013 in the districts of Kalambo, Sumbawanga rural and Sumbawanga Municipal. Today we are pleased to finalize handing over the remaining 19 and the last final one house is to be completed by end of March 2016” .

EllenDr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro CEO of BMF sharing a photo with children during the handing over ceremony held in Mpanda District

The Regional Commissioner of Katavi present during the occasion stated that the 19 staff house handed over today have narrowed the gap in terms of shortage of staff house by 25% within respective region. He pleaded the Foundation to continue supporting Katavi as it is one of the least developed regions, and it has unpleasant health indicators.

The local community was overwhelmed with joy as they receive the staff house, which will ensure the availability of health workers within the respective health center throughout the day including at night when needs for emergency arises.

RukwaTwo of the health workers who are of clinical officer and nurse cadre found at the Kabungu health facility had already moved in to share and occupy the house. The one house among the 19 handed over have a sitting room, 3 bedrooms, kitchen and a bathroom. By them moving into the house within the facility compound, has minimized the distance and risks of walking an average of 5 kms from where they were residing before.

 

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PRESS RELEASE

press releaseBenjamin William Mkapa Foundation to commemorate 10 years anniversary

Dar es salaam, Monday, 7th March, 2016: The Benjamin Mkapa Foundation (BMF) has continued complementing the Government of Tanzania and partners efforts in strengthening health service delivery in underserved settings and in April 2016 it will commemorate 10 years since it was established in April 2006, by the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa.

The BMF Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro said at a press conference today that the theme of the 10 years anniversary would be “A decade of Commitment, Trust and Success in reaching the underserved”.  The Foundation is gratified to have transformed the lives and health of millions of Tanzanians that have been directly and indirectly reached by the Organization.

She added that “As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Mkapa Foundation will carry out various activities from March 2016 to end of April 2016. The undertakings include community health service provision, joint field visits, stakeholders meeting and a fundraising dinner. During this period we will recognize and award different personalities and Institutions that have contributed to the Foundation’s growth and success. Publicity and promotional activities will be mainstreamed in all related activities.

Dr. Ellen said “The BMF Board of Trustees and Staff, and family members will be donating blood at the Muhimbili National Hospital, as one of the means of relieving the sufferings by children, pregnant mothers and patients who need blood for their survival. We will also provide education, counseling and testing of HIV to clients within the public health facilities in Rukwa and Simiyu regions. School health education related to HIV and AIDS and Sexual Reproductive health will also be provided to two selected schools in the same respective regions”.

The Foundation’s pride in10 years is vested on its ability to create innovative and sustainable models that address national challenges in the Health Sector.  “We are proud to have been able to avail employment to more than 1100 health workers who have served needy areas; provision of scholarship grants to 1000 students studying Allied Health courses, and enhancing retention and motivation of health workers through the 480 constructed staff houses in rural health facilities. The Foundation has further been able to reach more than 800 health workers trained on effective clinical management of HIV and AIDS and Maternal health care services”, said Dr. Mkondya-Senkoro.

The fundraising campaign is already underway whereas corporate interest, pledges and monetary and in-kind contributions have been registered from various companies such as, Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Ltd, Bank M, Clouds Media Group and others. We are expecting to garner more pledges through the fundraising dinner to be held on 13th April 2016 here in Dar Es Salaam, which will be attended by 150 invited guests. During the fundraising dinner, the Mkapa Foundation seeks to raise TZS 1 billion as part of its annual budget. These funds will benefit the Tanzanian people through reinforcement of health workforce and related health services especially HIV and AIDS, Reproductive, Maternal New born and Child health.

Likewise during the occasion, BMF will officially launch its new organizational name of the “Benjamin W. Mkapa Foundation” from the former the “ Benjamin W. Mkapa HIV/AIDS Foundation”. Dr. Ellen added “ In our endeavor to sustainability, enhancing growth and realigning to the changing national and global environment, including health sector development, effective from 2nd November 2015, we have changed our name to “The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF)”. The instituted change reflects the Foundation’s objectives, which is to implement programs beyond HIV and AIDS, as stipulated in our amended Trust Deed. Our vision, mission and core values have remained the same, and we will continue to be committed in bringing hope to the underserved”.

For more information about our work, please contact: Mr. Deo Rimoy, Public Relations and Communication Officer, Email: drimoy@mkapafoundation.org

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