Mkapa Foundation Reaches Grassroots with Health Care

Mkapa Foundation Reaches Grassroots with Health Care

The Benjamin Mkapa Foundation has pledged to continue building on the dream and vision of its Founder and Settlor, the late President Benjamin Mkapa in order to positively impact the health sector in Tanzania and Africa in general.

In her message on the passing of President Mkapa, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of BMF Dr. Adeline Kimambo said that, his life touched many of his compatriots, and there were many more whose lives are much better today because of his life and his contribution. 

Dr. Adeline Kimambo, the current Chair of the BMF Board of Trustees

“We are grateful for the gift of President Mkapa’s life to us, and to millions more others, whose lives were touched by his leadership and service,” Dr Kimambo noted.

She said President Mkapa’s vision in establishing the Foundation after his retirement from office was to promote his efforts in combating HIV/AIDS as well as reinforcing better access to health care and services for Tanzanians.

“In this regard the Foundation has had an exceptional working relationship with the government and partners in development on improving availability and accessibility to quality health care, with special focus on remote, low resource settings and underserved areas,” she said.

She further explained that in 14 years of its existence, the Foundation has successfully undertaken and implemented multiple projects that have positively improved and impacted health sector in both Mainland and Zanzibar.

“These have contributed towards the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. They have also supported Maternal, Adolescent and Children Health, and as well increasing availability of skilled health workers at the health facilities, community health workers and overall improvement of health facility infrastructure,” Dr. Kimambo said.

She noted that the untimely death of President Mkapa was an irreplaceable loss to their Foundation but it gives them reason to celebrate his accomplishments and achievements.

Dr. Kimambo said that BMF will carry on his legacy by working tirelessly with the government, development partners, private sector, and the citizen to ensure provision of healthcare is improved, and people live healthy lives.  

On her part, BMF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Ellen Mkondya Senkoro said the life of the former statesman has touched and transformed the lives of millions within and outside Tanzania.

Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro, The BMF Chief Executive Officer

“We are proud that at his death in his 81 years, so much has been done under his able guidance, watch and enabling pair of hands. We are grateful for the trust and confidence he bestowed on us and for the opportunity given to us to help translate his vision into action and his purpose into impact,” she said.

She said BMF will continue to remember him for his fine intellectual capability, strong personal values, firm decisions and his unwavering respect for humanity and dignity, which influenced immensely their values as a Foundation.

“Mkapa will remain an inspiration to us and the successive generations of the BMF family. He will forever remain in our hearts. May his soul rest in eternal peace- Amen,” Dr. Senkoro said.

Through his Foundation, President Mkapa has left a permanent mark in the health sector that touches lives of grassroots Tanzanians, especially the decision he made while he was the president and afterwards.

On July this year the Foundation employed 575 health workers, who will be deployed in 13 regions in dire need of the staff in efforts to boost health service delivery in the country.

Since its establishment in the past 14 years, the Foundation has reached 6,773,914 Tanzanians who have benefited directly from its services, while 13,087,606 people benefited indirectly.

Through its collaboration with the government, BMF has conducted outreach services reaching more than 600,000 people who have been screened, counselled and enrolled in starting HIV/AIDS treatment.

Other services provided by the institution include family planning which has benefited 20,687 women, cervical cancer screening to 64,849 and tuberculosis screening to 40,017 people of which 1,800 were detected with the disease.

According to a report released by BMF, to date the institution has  managed to  dispatch more than 3,000 health workers in villages, where 50 percent finally secured employment in civil service.

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BMF Commits to Continue Mkapa’s Legacy

BMF Commits to Continue Mkapa’s Legacy

As everyone’s death demises, the news of the death of the third phase President Benjamin Mkapa on July 23 this year came as great shock not only to Tanzanians but also to the staff of Benjamin Mkapa Foundation (BMF).

To BMF, President Mkapa was a Patron, Founder and Settlor of the organization, who played an active oversight role with his charismatic leadership style.

It was bad news to the nation especially the BMF family, when President John Magufuli announced the death of the fallen hero in the wee hours of Friday July 24, leaving the country grief-stricken and auguring in the declared seven-day national mourning.

The President announcement was followed by various activities as part of preparations for his burial. BMF board members and senior management team joined Mkapa’s family at Msasani residence in Dar es Salaam to mourn the death of their patron whose death has left them in disbelief.

Dr. Ellen Senkoro and the BMF staff attend the Settlor’s funeral at his residence in Masaki on 25th July 2020.
The BMF Board of Trustees during the Settlor’s funeral at his residence in Masaki Dar es Salaam on 25th July 2020.

The BMF also took part at the President Mkapa’s state funeral that was held at Uhuru National Stadium in Dar es Salaam before his body was flown to his native land of Lupaso for burial.

BMF Board members, management and staff during the Settlor’s state funeral at the Uhuru National Stadium on 28th July 2020, Dar es Salaam .

At the state funeral, President John Magufuli led Tanzanians and foreign dignitaries to pay their last respects to the late former president.

Mkapa’s body was flown to his treasured homeland where he had opted for his burial.

However, the Foundation staff were among the people who joined thousands of ordinary citizens at the Lupaso home village, packed to the brim with people from all corners of the country and beyond to pay their last respects and bury the globally hero-known Mkapa.

Benjamin Mkapa Foundation Board members, management and staff arrive at the Settlor’s home village in Lupaso-Mtwara for his burial on 29th July 2020.

BMF board members and senior staff were among the few groups, who were given the opportunity to bid farewell to the departed president by laying a wreath on his grave.

Benjamin Mkapa Foundation Board members and senior staff lay a wreath on the Settlor’s grave in Lupaso.

“Our Settlor was a life well lived and time meaningfully spent. We thank God for the gift of his life. We pray for his eternal peace,” said Dr. Adeline Kimambo, Chair of the Board of Trustees of BMF as she offered her condolences.

“Rest in peace Mzee Mkapa, and we as the Foundation shall continue implementing your legacy,” she said.

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BMF and Philanthropists Mourn Mkapa’s Health Care Service to the Public

BMF and Philanthropists Mourn Mkapa’s Health Care Service to the Public

The Benjamin Mkapa Foundation (BMF) partners have come together to mourn the death of its Founder and Settlor Benjamin Mkapa whom they eulogised as a brilliant public servant who dedicated his entire adult life in serving his country.

BMF Partners (Irish Aid & DFID) joined the BMF Management and Staff at the Settlor’s Funeral Ceremony at his Residence in Masaki.

Mkapa the former Tanzanian President, died on July 23 in Dar es Salaam and his body was laid to rest in his home village Lupaso in Masasi District on July 29 this year.

With the partners they paid tribute to the third phase president saying his brainchild idea of establishing the Foundation has immensely improved lives of millions of Tanzanians, and particular health of people in rural areas.

Ms. Veronica Kessy a representative from African Academy for Public Health (AAPH) writing her condolence message at the BMF Office in Dar es Salaam.

In its condolence message, Compass Technical Team in Tanzania, said President Mkapa has contributed a lot in strengthening health systems and in admirable ways, benefited many nationals.

For Tanzania Network of Women Living with HIV and AIDS Executive Director, Joan Chamungu Msuya, Tanzania has lost a brilliant servant, who dedicated his entire adult life serving his beloved nation with dignity and excellence.

She said Mkapa will be remembered by many things including championing the fight against HIV and AIDS in Africa.

Dr. Redemptia Mbatia from Tanzania Health Promotion Support (THPS) said her organization joins the BMF to fly the vision of the great leader of the nation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Director, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases Dr. Mwele Malecela described President Mkapa as a true statesman and transformational leader.

 “His legacy lives on through the institutions he built and systems he put in place … in his retirement he played a critical role in advancing the health workforce agenda … He is one of the giants whose shoulders we stood on,” Dr Malecela said.

In his condolences the Executive Director of Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) Dr. Honorathi Masanja said “another great son of Africa has fallen” and prayed for his soul to rest in eternal peace.

Jane Miller – OBE from the Department for International Development (DFID) said the work being done by BMF is an amazing legacy to his commitment to the Tanzanians

 Dr. Josephine Ballart from CSSC said BMF has lost a guardian and a leader praying for his soul to rest in eternal peace.

 In her condolence message Dr. Marina Njelekela from USAID Boresha Afya Southern Zone Program said that Mkapa has left a legacy that will never be forgotten as a visionary and a true African leader, who embraced health issues fully to the extent of formulating BMF that is a health-related Foundation.

The Ariel Glaser Pediatric AIDS Healthcare Initiative (AGPAHI)’s Dr. Sekela Mwakyusa consoled BMF saying Mkapa has left behind a lot of things thanking God for his life.

Angela Makota from Save the Children consoled the entire BMF team for the loss of their Fonder.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said the AIDS response has lost one of its most committed champions. “He was a patron of BMF which he reached millions of Tanzanians and continues to improve rural health services.

The list also included taking health services to the grassroots, especially for the well being of women, men and children including people living and affected by HIV,” reads part of the message.

Embassy of Ireland Chargé d’affaires, Adrian Fitzgerald said Mkapa was a remarkable man who cared deeply for his people and his beloved Tanzania. “His legacy includes the great work of BMF…our most sincere condolences to the people of Tanzania for this terrible loss and in particular to the family and his friends at this very sad time.”

The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender Elderly and Children Ms Ummy Mwalimu Mkapa spirit will continue to live in the hearts of many Tanzanians especially those in the health sector.

She said that even after his retirement as president, Mkapa continued to contribute in improving the health sector, adding: “Through BMF you have facilitated the construction of houses for health personnel   especially in regions with dire need of health workers including Katavi, Kigoma, Rukwa, Songwe, Tabora and Simiyu.”

For the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr. Donan Mbando, the sad news of Mkapa’s death was a shock, particularly because the country has lost its Founding father.

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The Late Benjamin Mkapa Spearheaded Partnerships for Results

The Late Benjamin Mkapa Spearheaded Partnerships for Results

The Late His Excellency Mkapa personal attributes and values were anchored upon partnerships for big results, and this was notable through the Mkapa Foundation Partnership with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. Until 2020, the Foundation has been guided by its 3rd Strategic Business Plan (July 2019- June 2024), which was designed to respond to the Government national strategic plans and priorities.

The BMF Settlor with Honorable Ummy Mwalimu during the Handing Over Ceremony of 50 health workers houses constructed by BMF.

As a strong believer of Private sector Partnership, His Excellency Mkapa applauded and promoted the BMF partnership with the Corporate sector in Tanzania which began in year 2012. This was an effort to increase more local ownership, private sector investing on the well-being of communities as part of their corporate social responsibilities of which remarkable milestones were registered by having more than 1 billion Tanzanian Shillings donated to the Foundation by the Private Sector, thus leading to 11 operating theatres being constructed and equipped, within the rural primary health care facilities which saved lives of hundreds of pregnant women, children and men in need of surgical services.

The BMF Settlor and Ambassor Masaharu Yoshida cutting a ribbon to inaugurate the newly constructed obstetric theater in a ceremony held on 8th July 2017 in Itilima Simiyu. Standing with them is Honorable Ummy Mwalimu

His Excellency Mkapa cherished the mutual partnership built between the Foundation and the development partners that had simply began with the trust bestowed upon him by the Norway Government and his comrade friend President Clinton that led to establishment and supporting the first BMF’s parent initiative- the Mkapa Fellows Program.  With time new financing partners joined into the stimulating journey of bringing HOPE to million other people through the innovative and impactful health programs. We thank our funding partners Norway Government, Government of Ireland, USAID, Abbott Fund, Global Fund to fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria, UK Aid-DFID, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDs, Comic Relief and others.

The BMF Settlor with the Norway Ambassador to Tanzania H.E Ingunn Klepsvik in 2011.
The BMF Settlor with the former Ambassador of the Republic of Ireland to Tanzania Fionnuala Gilsenan
The BMF Settlor with the Ambassador of the United States of America to Tanzania as the BMF 3rd Board of Trustees Chair and CEO look on during a stakeholders meeting in 2017.
The BMF Settlor with the Former President of United States of America Bill Clinton during the launch of the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation, July 2005

“If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together” – this has been a catalytic aspect to the Mkapa Foundation and his visionary leader the late Mkapa. We have kept on walking with local and international organizations by complementing each other, thus designing new programs, effectively implementing them and changing lives of many especially in rural areas of Tanzania. It has been our practice to evaluate our performance through stakeholders’ engagement, every after two years which was graced by the presence of guest of honor as well as the Settlor of the Foundation Excellency Mkapa.

BMF Settlor with Mr. Mohammed Dewji during the launch of the change of name from BMAF to BMF in April 2006
The BMF Settlor handing over a brief copy of the New Strategic Business Plan to Amref Tanzania CEO Dr. Florence Temu during the Health Symposium event in October 2019.

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Practising What You Preach – The Value of the Visionary Leader, His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa

Practising What You Preach – The Value of the Visionary Leader, His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa

In the beginning when the Mkapa Foundation started in 2006, The Late Benjamin William Mkapa focused on building strong pillar of good governance, which ensured structure and processes for decision making, accountability, control and behaviour at the top of the Foundation is in place, to influence setting up and achieving  the Institutional objectives,  monitor risk and ensure performance is optimised.

The BMF Settlor (centre) with the first Chair of Board of Trustees, Dr. Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi (left) and other Board Members

The governance systems and structure of the Institution ensured his vision is realised and it also sustained efforts in reaching the underserved.

Through his visionary and patriotic leadership principles and philosophy, the Settlor of the Foundation, His Excellency Mkapa played an active oversight role in a “eyes on, hands off” leadership style. He was supported by the appointed multi-disciplinary and experienced Board of Trustees, during different tenures, as defined in the Institutional legal frameworks.

The BMF Settlor with the Chair of the first Board of Trustees Hon. Dr. Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi

The first Chair of the Board of Trustees was Hon. Dr. Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi who led for two terms, followed by Major General Herman Lupogo (Late), Ambassador Charles Sanga and now the current chair of the Board is Dr. Adeline Kimambo.

The Governance function ensured Mkapa Foundation’s stakeholders’ confidence is preserved and strengthened, high Institutional performance and it has appropriately placed the Foundation to respond to the changing external environment efficiently and effectively.

His Dedication and Oversight has driven the Foundation into being a strategic and trusted local institution that ensured resilient, alignment and integration of its programs, for Institutional continuous growth and sustainability.

The BMF Settlor (Centre) with the Third and Fourth Board of Trustees Chaired by Ambassador Charles Sanga (right) and Dr. Adeline Kimambo (left) respectively.

That’s why, in 14 years since its inception, The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation has reached million Tanzanians through its various initiatives that focus on strengthening the health systems and service delivery.

It thus gives us enough reason to celebrate his life, as his legacy on the bringing Hope to the underserved people will live on.

The BMF team promises and remain committed to keep his vision alive with every step we take for a better future.

The BMF Settlor (Centre) with the Fourth Board of Trustees Chaired by Dr. Adeline Kimambo (Left) .

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UNAIDS Pays Tribute to AIDS Champion Benjamin William Mkapa, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

UNAIDS pays tribute to AIDS champion Benjamin William Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

The UNAIDS who are one amongst the many partners of the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation released a press statement to pay tribute to the Late His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa, the Settlor of the Mkapa Foundation and 3rd phase President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Below is the statement:

GENEVA, 24 July 2020—UNAIDS is saddened by the death of the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Benjamin William Mkapa. Mr Mkapa was a bold and compassionate leader who worked to promote peace in eastern Africa and was committed to ending AIDS, being credited with much of the United Republic of Tanzania’s success in responding to HIV.

“I’ve learned with sadness that the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa, has passed away,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “He was a tireless champion for peace and an AIDS-free Africa. UNAIDS pays tribute to him for his courage, his strength and his leadership.” In 1999, he declared HIV a national disaster and quickly spearheaded the country’s national response to HIV by establishing the Tanzania Commission for AIDS. He also formed the Tanzania Parliamentarians AIDS Coalition (TAPAC) in 2001, which united the President and Prime Minister, members of parliament and other high-level politicians in the response to HIV.

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UNAIDS Country Director Dr. Leo Zekeng with BMF Settlor during the launch of the Foundation’s third Strategic Business Plan in October 2019

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