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.
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.
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.