Category: News

Digital Health Resilience In COVID-19: Lessons Learnt And Compelling Reasons To Accelerate Vaccination

Dr. Masumbuko Igembya, the Regional Immunization and Vaccine Officer (RIVO) for Morogoro says his region planned to vaccinate 1.5 million residents, and has achieved its target by 93%. However, the region wasn’t able to document all people who were vaccinated, by logging them into the national electronic database: the Chanjo COVID system.

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A Pairing Model Solution for Improving Access to Adolescent-Friendly health services in Africa.

Advocating for Formalization of CHW’s and Improving Access to Adolescent – Friendly SRH Services

Monrovia, Liberia (March 22 – 24, 2023), The Benjamin Mkapa Foundation made a significant impact at the 3rd International Community Health Workers Symposium, held in Monrovia, Liberia, from 22nd to 24th March. The symposium, attended by delegates from 47 countries, provided a platform for Mkapa Foundation to contribute to discussions on advancing Community Health Worker (CHW) programs. This includes building resilient and equitable health systems to accelerate the expansion of primary healthcare for universal health coverage.
As part of the delegation from Tanzania led by the Ministry of Health, Mkapa Foundation played a pivotal role in championing the formalization of the CHW cadre to expedite the achievement of health targets. Through resource mobilization efforts supported by funders such as Irish Aid and USAID, Mkapa Foundation highlighted the importance of addressing capacity building, deployment, career progression, and practice for CHWs, while seeking approval for them to provide basic curative services.
The recognition of these efforts came in the form of an approved abstract for poster presentation by Mkapa Foundation, at the symposium. Titled “Improving Access to Adolescent-Friendly Sexual and Reproductive Health Services through Community Health Workers and Youth Peer Educators Pairing Model”, the abstract showcased the sustained impact of utilizing CHWs in implementing innovative approaches. Specifically, the study focused on enhancing access and quality of adolescent-friendly SRH services in underserved areas.
Findings from the study demonstrated the effectiveness of pairing CHWs with youth peer educators, leading to improved community care and increased access to and uptake of quality health services. These results emphasized the significance of developing integrated, responsive, and sustainable community health systems.
Mkapa Foundation’s commitment to strengthening community-based health programs continues beyond the symposium. Following a working session held in Morogoro in February, the Foundation plans to facilitate the translation of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Community-Based Health Program Implementers into Swahili. This translation will ensure that the SOP is easily accessible, well understood and utilized by end-users. Furthermore, Mkapa Foundation aims to gather feedback and input from the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and undergo review and approval processes with key stakeholders, including the Director of Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health and the Tanzania Chief Medical Officer.

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17 Years of Smart Partnerships

The Mkapa Foundation Settlor, H.E. Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, the President of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, hosted the Mkapa Foundation annual partners’ luncheon meeting on April 27, 2023. The gathering brought together leaders from various Government Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Private Sector and Health sector practitioners from both Tanzanian mainland and Zanzibar.
The aim of the luncheon meeting was to enable the Settlor and the Board of Trustees of the Mkapa Foundation to meet with the existing and potential partners, to appreciate, recognize, solidify, and exchange different perspectives that will facilitate SMART partnerships for bigger impact.
Various speeches formed part of the event program, with highlights on the 17 years achievements and challenges faced by the Foundation.

The Mkapa Foundation CEO opened the meeting with an overview of the timeline review of projects, financial partnerships and ongoing programs which have deployed over 11,047 healthcare workers (HCWs) categorized into 5,165 skilled HCWs and 5,882 community health workers (CHWs) deployed in villages and ward level. The efforts were complimented by construction of 482 staff houses, 18 theatres and maternity wards, 26 diagnostic sites and rehabilitation of 12 health facilities.

“For the past 17 years, the Mkapa Foundation has reached over 26 million beneficiaries in various underserved communities in Tanzanian mainland and Zanzibar. This exhibits the foundation’s wider reach as a result of our beneficial and long-lasting partnerships totaling TZS 260 billion.” Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro.

The Chairperson of the Mkapa Foundation Board of Trustees expressed the commitment of the Board in providing leadership guidance in mitigating the current challenges while spearheading a forward-thinking approach to grasp new opportunities. Dr. Kimambo also acknowledged the pledges made to the Mkapa Foundation’s Endowment Fund and encouraged those who are yet to fulfill theirs, to do so. She welcomed the stakeholders to participate in the upcoming Mkapa Legacy Symposium, which is set to convene after every two years, with the next one scheduled for July 2024.

Comments from the attending stakeholders ranged from congratulatory remarks on attainment of 17 years of success; commitments for the current and future projects, as well as a call for the Foundation to increase its pool of programs to include emerging health challenges including those related to nutrition.
The keynote address by Mkapa Foundation’s Settlor, H.E. Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, covered his experience from when he was appointed as the Board Chair by the Late Benjamin Mkapa in 2006. He expounded on how the vision led by the Late Benjamin Mkapa continues to live on, in serving the underserved through the existing strong partnerships. He added further on the power of advocacy and the need for continued stronger strategic partnerships for the achievement of higher impact. He emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships in improving healthcare delivery and access in Tanzania. Dr. Mwinyi updated the participants on the progress of the Mkapa Health Plaza construction and the need for scalability of the Foundation’s impact to Zanzibar on similar undertakings. The Mkapa Health Plaza is a sustainability undertaking by the Foundation, through its business arm Imara Horizon Company (IHC).

Furthermore, Dr. Mwinyi acknowledged the unwavering support by H.E. Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania for the ongoing initiatives to reach those in need, as undertaken by the Mkapa Foundation and other health actors in Tanzania.
“Together we can ensure the continuity of the foundation, and its work towards enhancing health services, reduce diseases and poverty”. H.E. Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Settlor of the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation.
He closed the meeting with an appeal to the existing and potential partners present at the meeting, to analyze the Mkapa Foundation’s programs, achievements and challenges over the past 17 years, in order to extract the different partnership opportunities available.

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BMF Supports the Office of Regional Medical Officer (RMO) with Medical Supplies.

BMF Supports the Office of Regional Medical Officer (RMO) with Medical Supplies.

During the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2023, the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation (BMF) has taken a step towards supporting the health needs of women and others by handing over medical supplies to the Office of DSM Regional Medical Officer (RMO). The supplies, which include examination and surgical gloves, masks and sanitizers were received by the Regional Dental Officer (Dr Daisy Majamba) on behalf of the RMO at Amana Hospital, Ilala Dar Es Salaam.
The handover ceremony was attended by members of the Regional Health Management Team (RHMT), who acknowledged the importance of prioritizing women’s health in creating a healthier and more equitable world for everyone. BMF’s contribution will help address some of the key health needs of women and their close dependents in the Region and ensure that necessary medical supplies are available for the provision of quality health services.
Speaking on the occasion, a representative of BMF (Ms. Mwajabu Mbaruku, BMF Program Administrator) emphasized the organization’s commitment to promoting women’s health and well-being and called on other stakeholders to join hands in supporting this important cause. “We believe that investing in women’s health is not only the right thing to do, but also a smart and strategic choice that yields dividends for individuals, families, and communities,” the representative said.
The handover of medical supplies is just one of many initiatives undertaken by BMF to improve health outcomes in Tanzania and beyond. The organization’s programs and projects cover a wide range of health areas, including HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Maternal and Child Health, and non-communicable diseases.
BMF remains committed to working with partners and stakeholders to promote health and well-being, and to empower communities to take charge of their own health. The organization encourages everyone to join in this important effort to create a healthier, more equitable world for all.

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The 5th Annual Partners Meeting 2022

In a period of 16 years, The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) has sustained its complementary efforts in ensuring the health and well-being of society, particularly the underserved is achieved. As burgeoning our milestone in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, The Foundation held its annual partners meeting in appreciation of the support and cooperation from the Government, Development Partners and other Stakeholders. 

This meeting was held on 1st November 2022, at BMF offices at Mlimani City Office Park, Block No.6, Sam Nujoma Road, Ubungo- Dar Es Salaam, from 0930hours – 1230hours physically but also virtually for those who joined in their comfort zone.

The most crucial agenda for the 5th Annual meeting was to exchange views with the Management, learn and receive updates on the Foundation’s noble work for various milestones. Other agenda discussed were the BMF Partnerships and Potential Sources of Funding, Grants, Finance and Audit, and areas for attention, lessons learnt and the way forward.

The Development partners and Stakeholders that attended the meeting included the representatives from Embassy of Ireland, British High Commission    FCDO, British High Commission, DFATD Canada, PEPFAR, CDC, UNICEF, UNAIDS, WHO, UNDP, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research-Tanzania (WRAIR), AVAC, JHIEPGO, NBC, NMB, AngloGold Ashanti, Good Neighbours Korea – Tanzania, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Ministry of Health – Mainland, Ministry of Health Revolutionary Government of  Zanzibar and HJFMRI – Tanzania.

“We value your partnership and your willingness to work with us. Your constructive ideas and advice have always been appreciated. We will continue working with you for the sustainable improvement of health services and systems in our country.” said Dr. Ellen.

On this ground, the Foundation will continue to honor the enormous support from the Government, Development Partners and Stakeholders, working continuously and tirelessly to sustain the legacy of our Founder and Settlor, His Excellency (Late) Benjamin William Mkapa.


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BMF Sponsors Mental Health Symposium

One out of eight people have symptoms associated with mental health. Based on these global statistics it is estimated that 7Milion people in Tanzania have been impacted by Mental Health Challenges. This was said recently by the Minister of Health Hon. Ummy Mwalimu at the first Mental Health Symposium to be held in Tanzania in Dar es Salaam. To mark World Mental Health Day.

This event was organized by the Ministry of Health and co-sponsored by different partners including Mkapa Foundation.

Speaking at the event; the Director of Strategy and Performance Management, from Mkapa Foundation, Dr. Mussa Ndile said that Mental Health services should be deliberately offered in the health facilities going down to the community levels. He added that Mkapa Foundation is committed to ensure that it includes mental Health interventions into its programmes.

WHO representative Dr. Zabulon Yoti pointed out that ‘There’s No mental without Mental Health’ and called for the prioritization of Mental health at District, Regional and National level?

Other stakeholders who participated were WHO, UNICEF, CRDB, MUHAS, Tanzania Non-Communicable Diseases.

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Makerere Celebrates 100 years – Honors Mkapa Legacy

Makerere Celebrates 100 years - Honors Mkapa Legacy

Benjamin Mkapa Foundation participated in the Makerere University celebration to mark its 100 years.  The event was co-hosted with the University of Dar es Salaam as part of the Two Institutions’ Academic Partnership in Research Programs and to Honor Mkapa’s Legacy.  H.E. late Benjamin William Mkapa an Alumni of Makerere University graduated from the University in 1956.  The event was graced by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam (Research) Dr. Benedeta Kiliian as the guest of honor.  The Makerere University team was led by the Chairperson of the Council Mrs. Lorna Magara.

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Kada Ya Afya Mwanza, Simiyu Kunufaika

Kada Ya Afya Mwanza, Simiyu Kunufaika

Na Damian Masyenene, Mwananchi                                                                          

Mwanza. Taasisi ya Benjamim Mkapa imepanga kutoa fursa za ajira za kujitolea kwa wataalam 151 wa sekta ya afya katika Mikoa ya Mwanza na Simiyu.

Ajira hizo ni utekelezaji wa muongozo wa Taifa wa ajira katika kada ya afya unaolenga kupunguza tatizo la upungufu wa watumishi maeneo ya pembezoni. 

Akizungumza jijini hapa jana Ofisa Mtendaji Mkuu wa taasisi hiyo, Dk Hellen Senkoro alisema kupitia muongoso huo unaowawezesha wa hitimu wa kada za afya wasio na ajira rasmi kupata ajira za muda, Mkoa wa Mwanza utapata wataalamu wakujitolea 80, huku wengine 71 wakienda mkoa wa Simiyu.

Alisema Pamoja na kulipiwa bima ya afya  kupitia mfuko wa Taifa wa Bima ya afya(NHIF) na michango kwenye mifuko ya jamii,wanufaika wa mpango huo pia watalipwa posho  inayolingana, nusu au asilimia 50 ya mishahara wanayolipwa wataalamu wenzao walioko katika ajira rasmi.

Kwa upande wa Katibu Tawala Msaidizi Mkoa wa Mwanza (Mipango na Uratibu) Joachim Otaru alisema serikali itaendelea kushirikiana na wadau wengine kuongeza ubunifu wa kuwajengea uwezo wataalamu wa afya ili kupunguza changamoto ya upungufu wa watumishi.

Naye Mganga Mkuu wa Mkoa wa Simiyu  Boniface Richard aliahidi kuwa ofisi yake itawaandalia mazingira bora ya kazi wataalamu wa kujitolea watakaopelekwa mkoani humo, na kuwaomba wadau wengine kuiga mfano wa taasisi ya Mkapa kwa kusaidia kupunguza uhaba wa wataalamu wa afya hasa maeneo ya vijijini.

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UNFPA na Taasisi ya Mkapa yakabidhi jengo hospitali ya Amana, yatoa vifaa

UNFPA na Taasisi ya Mkapa (BMF) zakabidhi jengo hospitali ya Amana, yatoa vifaa

Shirika la Umoja wa Mataifa la Idadi ya Watu duniani (UNFPA) limekabidhi jengo la wodi ya mama na watoto kwa Hospitali ya Rufaa ya Mkoa ya Amana pamoja na vifaa tiba mbalimbali vitakavyotumika katika hospitali hiyo.

UNFPA kwa kushirikiana na Taasisi ya Benjamin Mkapa (BMF) walikuwa wakishirikiana katika kutekeleza mradi wa “Tokomeza Uviko-19” hasa kwa mama wajawazito kwa kuwapatia huduma bora za afya.

Akizungumzia mradi huo jana, Ofisa Miradi Mwandamizi wa Taasisi ya Benjamin Mkapa, Dk Daud Ole Mkopi alisema taasisi yake kwa kushirikiana na Ubalozi wa Finland pamoja na UNFPA wamekuwa wakitekeleza afua mbalimbali za afya ikiwemo kuongeza ajira.

Alisema katika mradi huo, wameajiri watumishi wa afya 209 ambao wametawanywa katika mikoa mbalimbali. Watumishi 77 kati ya hao, wameajiriwa kupitia ufadhili wa Ubalozi wa Finland na 45 kati yao wamepangiwa vituo vya kazi katika mkoa wa Dar es Salaam.

“Tumekarabati majengo saba katika mikoa sita tofauti kwa ufadhili wa Serikali ya Finland ikiwemo jengo la wazazi katika hospitali ya Amana ambalo limegharimu Sh120,” alisema Dk Mkopi.

Mwakilishi wa UNFPA hapa nchini, Mark Schreiner alisema wanafanya kazi kwa karibu na serikali ya Tanzania kuhakikisha kwamba wanawake wanapata huduma bora za afya na kwamba mwanamke yoyote hatakiwi kupoteza maisha wakati analeta maisha ya kiumbe mwingine.


“Jitihada zaidi zinahitajika ili kuhakikisha kwamba wanawake katika maeneo ya vijijini wanapata huduma bora za afya ya uzazi na kupunguza vifo vya wajawazito wakati wa kujifungua,” alisema Schreiner.

Aliwahimiza wananchi kujitokeza kwenye sense itakayofanyika nchini Agosti 23 kwa kile alichobainisha kwamba takwimu halisi itaisaidia serikali na wadau wengine katika utoaji wa huduma za kijamii kwa wananchi.

Kwa upande wake, Mganga Mkuu wa Mkoa wa Dar es Salaam, Rashid Mfaume alisema katika kukabiliana na Uviko-19, mkoa wa Dar es Salaam ulianzisha mbinu malumu ya kuhamasisha wananchi kwenda kuchanja kupitia kwa viongozi wa serikali za mitaa.

“Mkoa wa Dar es Salaa tulianza kuwahamasisha viongozi wa serikali za mitaa ili nao wakahamasishe wananchi wao. Hili limepata mafanikio makubwa ndiyo maana maeneo mengine wakaanza kutumia model yetu,” alisema.

Balozi wa Finland nchini Tanzania, Riita Swan alisema wameamua kugawa pia vizibao vya kuakisi mwanga (reflector) vyenye ujumbe wa kuhamasisha wananchi kwenda kuchanja, lengo likiwa ni kuongeza hamasa ya watu kuchanja.

Kama ilivyoandikwa na Peter Elias

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Your Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania;

Your Excellency Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar, Chair of the Revolutionary Council and Settlor of the Mkapa Foundation;

Excellencies Former Presidents of the United Republic of Tanzania and Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar;

Your Excellency Joachim Chissano, Former President of the Republic of Mozambique;

Your Excellency Othman Masoud, First Vice President of Zanzibar;

Your Excellency Hemed Suleiman Abdulla, Second Vice President of Zanzibar;

Honorable Zuberi Maulid, Speaker of the House of the Representative; 

Honorable Mama Anne Mkapa, Former First Lady and a widow of Late President Benjamin William Mkapa;

Honorable Mariam Mwinyi, First Lady of Zanzibar;

Mama Fatma Karume and Former First Ladies;

Honorable Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Senior Government Officials;

The Board of the Mkapa Foundation Board (BMF);

Excellencies Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Our distinguished development partners and sponsors;

Dear guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen!

When I gave my statement last year on the commemoration of the first Mkapa Legacy, I expressed our commitment and a promise that, under our watch, the Foundation will carry on and the legacy of our beloved Founder and Settlor, Late President Benjamin William Mkapa will be sustained. I am standing here today with pride that we have made it to the second year.

          Our Board remains true to our mission and vision of transforming lives. The Foundation has continued to be trusted and supported by our partners and stakeholders who are gathered here today. Our story of success cannot be mentioned without acknowledging the support we received from both governments of Tanzania and Zanzibar.

          Your Excellencies,

          Last year, we launched the Benjamin Mkapa Endowment Fund with the aim of mobilizing funds to sustain the work of the Foundation and prepare us for being self-reliant in the future. I thank Your Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania for launching the Fund and promised to contribute to it. We appreciate that we received your contribution as promised. You kept your words.

Equally, we thank Your Excellency Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi for contributing to this Fund as promised. We thank you more for accepting to be our new Settlor. We are lucky that you know us well. You were a Founder Chairperson of the Board. There could be no other good choice to take over from the Late President Mkapa than you. We feel safe under your able pair of hands. Our fear towards the future has vanished and You brought us hope.

 Your Excellencies,

                     Apart from the Endowment Fund, we are in the right footing on our plan towards long term sustainability. Our Foundation through its special purpose business vehicle, namely Imara Horizon Company is to construct an investment building in Dar es Salaam (Mkapa Health Plaza) and if all goes well, we look forward to accomplishing the project by end of year 2023. These two, the Endowment Fund and the Investment Building are showing our serious commitment towards becoming self-reliant in line with what our Late President Mkapa was known for.

          Your Excellencies,

          Mine today are few words. I came here to thank you and our partners and supporters for your continued support. And to brief you on the progress we have made since last year with regards to the Endowment Fund and an Investment Building. I take this opportunity once again to assure you that under our watch, this Foundation will continue to live up to your expectations and its vision and mission. Now that we have you President Mwinyi as our Settlor, we face the future with a lot of confidence.

          With these few words, I thank you all for listening and welcome you again to the 2nd Mkapa Legacy Symposium in Zanzibar.

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Mkapa Foundation