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MEMORIAL: Ifakara college hall named after Dr. Flora Kessy

Feb. 17, 2021
MEMORIAL: Ifakara college hall named after Dr. Flora Kessy
This is Dr. Flora Kessy Memorial Hall built by Ifakara Health Institute and partners. Inset: Photo: Dr. Flora Kessy and a sniff of signboard placed at the hall entrance stating that it has been named after the former Ifakara seasoned public health research. PHOTO | IFAKARA/Coms

A new lecture hall, built at the Tanzania Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH) in Ifakara has been named after Dr. Flora Kessy – former seasoned public health researcher at Ifakara Health Institute and long-standing partner of Ifakara’s international stakeholders - the Swiss TPH and R. Geigy Foundation.

The hall was officially inaugurated for use in January 2021 at a brief ceremony jointly hosted by Ifakara Chief Executive Director, Dr. Honorati Masanja; Acting Director of the TTCIH, Dr. Edward Amani; and the Director of Swiss TPH, Prof. Jürg Utzinger.

Inside the hall

The teaching hall, built for seven months – from January to July 2020, was among the latest common projects between Ifakara, the Swiss TPH and the TTCIH. Designed to accommodate up to 126 students at a go, the Tanzanian shillings 230-million structure represents a beautiful and practical design befitting Dr. Kessy’s directorship

The hall “will be a daily reminder for the following generations of students and staff alike of the value of their former Director,” says the R. Geigy Foundation in a statement.

Who is Dr. Kessy?

Dr. Kessy passed away in Ifakara in May last year. Until her death she was the Director of the TTCIH and an Associate Professor in Social Policy and Development at Mzumbe University. In her long and distinguished career to improve access to healthcare and the livelihood of women and communities across Tanzania, she impacted on development, health and social justice in Ifakara, the Kilombero valley, Tanzania, and Africa. 

Born in Moshi, Kilimanjaro in 1964, Dr. Kessy held a PhD in Agricultural and Consumer Economics with a Major in Household and Consumer Economics and a Minor in Women and Gender in Global Perspective from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA. She researched and published on health care, health and HIV/AIDS financing, health governance, social protection, health and livelihood resilience, gender and community participation in development through community governance structures.

Her research impacts

Dr. Kessy worked and partnered with numerous Tanzanian and international organizations, including Ifakara, the Ministry of Health in Tanzania, the World Bank, USAID, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UNFPA, UNICEF and Swiss TPH.

Her involvement with the joint IHI-Swiss TPH project supported by the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development on access to improved quality medical care (ACCESS, ISAQ and e-TIQH) brought not only strong leadership and professional skills to the project, but also a spirit of collaboration with all partners in government and in the civil society.

Dr. Kessy’s partners, including the Geigy Foundation, reports that above projects earned significant traction with communities and authorities, for the benefit of people in the Kilombero Valley and beyond, and even after these projects ended, she continued her collaboration with Swiss TPH through her pioneering engagement at the intersection of gender, health and livelihood, acting as Chairperson of the NGO Kilombero Health and Livelihood Promotion (KV-HELP), with support from the R. Geigy Foundation. #