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(Dar es Salaam) Four former friends from Karolinska Institute have paid tribute to the late Dr. Godfrey Mbaruku. The fallen seasoned public health researcher obtained his PhD at the Swedish institution in 2005 where he left a memorable mark there.

IHI Research Scientist Donat Shamba reads a tribute to Dr. Mbaruku written by the latter’s friends from Karolinska Institute where the fallen researcher got his PhD. PHOTO/EDGAR MWALULILI

The friends – Claudia Hanson, Stefan Peterson, Ulrika Baker, and Peter Waiswa were joined by the EQUIP family in showing their respect and gratitude to their colleague through a special message read before mourners by IHI Research Scientist Donat Shamba at a requiem for Dr. Mbaruku in Dar es Salaam at St. Alban cathedral in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday September 5, 2018.

“We received in great sorrow the news that our friend and colleague Godfrey Mbaruku left us on September 2, 2018. We would like to convey our deepest condolences to the family but also all his colleagues at IHI and beyond in Tanzania,” their statement read in part.

The described Dr. Mbaruku as a hero of his time, and said very few have or will ever reach the wide knowledge he had. They explained that all what he said was deeply rooted in a life-long accumulation of experience of working in communities, in hospitals, at administrative functions and in research, in Tanzania and other countries including Austria.

They wrote: “He always had an open door, he always listened to ideas, was enthusiastic, he was listening and considering. We will never forget him at Karolinska Institutet, his PhD graduation picture is on the wall!”

News on the death of Dr. Mbaruku was first broke to IHI staff by IHI chief human resources and operations officer Martha Baare in her brief email to all staff on Sunday September 2, 2018.

“My hands are trembling as I’m writing this email to you now. We have received very shocking news that Dr. Mbaruku has left us. More details will be availed later,” reads Baare’s email in part. Information obtained later, indicated that the researcher died at his Mbezi Beach home and was to be buried at the Kinondoni Cemetery in Dar es Salaam on a Wednesday of September 5, 2018.

Born in Tanga in 1954, Dr. Mbaruku (pictured) was an Obstetrics and Gynecology specialist with over 30-year experience as a medical doctor. Since 2004, he has served as Vice President of the National OBGYN Society (AGOTA).

Dr. Godfrey received most of his training at the University of Dar es Salaam, and completed his PhD at Karolinska Institute in Sweden in 2005. He has worked in the fields of reproductive health, maternal and neonatal health, primary care and management of health services.

As both a clinician and trainer, he has played a key collaborative role with local and international organizations in project development, teaching, monitoring and evaluation. As part of these efforts, he has worked tirelessly on behalf of local populations, as well as a huge number of refugees from neighboring countries.

In June 2010, The Lancet profiled Godfrey as “An Early Hero of Modern Maternal Health.” In that profile, Ann Starrs, President of Family Care International noted: “Godfrey was one of the first heroes of the modern maternal health movement.

In Kigoma, he saw the deplorable conditions, and high rate of maternal death, then set about addressing the factors that were causing these problems in a methodical, step-by-step way that was consultative, motivating for staff, sustainable, and highly effective. He showed the way by quiet leadership and inspiration. #

View Dr. Mbaruku’s Research Interests and Publications

Recent projects

Recently, he was involved in a number of research projects. They include:

Afrique One African Science Partnership for Intervention Research Excellence Read more

Priority indicators of care for mothers and newborns around the time of birth Read more

Expanded quality improvement for maternal and newborn health using information power Read more

Unmanned aerial vehicles to improve medical delivery in rural and remote communities Read more

Improving obstetric care using non-pneumatic anti-shock garment & closed-user group mobile phones services Read more


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