Africa is home to over one billion people, including many of the world’s poorest nations. Though many of these countries have made significant economic progress, the continent still wrestles with a myriad of daunting public health challenges. Vital Strategies has built strong partnerships in government and civil society to run its programs across this region.
In Tanzania, our maternal health program is increasing access to quality care for pregnant women in remote areas. We also run public health awareness campaigns to educate families about the benefits of giving birth at health centers, ultimately helping bring down Tanzania’s maternal mortality rate.
In Ethiopia, the East Africa Training Initiative is educating the first generation of lung health specialists for a country with the highest burden of tuberculosis and other lung diseases in Africa.
KENYA, SENEGAL, CAMEROON:
Tobacco control mass media campaigns have been produced in Swahili, French and traditional languages in partnership with Ministries of Health in Kenya, Senegal, Cameroon, and four other countries across the continent.
Vital Strategies has also created free, ready-to-use mass media and graphic pack warning resources to assist countries in creating their own local media campaigns and pack warnings. These resources are designed to bring down the number of young people who take up smoking, encourage quitting, and push for strong tobacco control policy. WLF campaign and pack warning resources have already been utilized by 12 countries in Africa.
As Bloomberg Philanthropies rolls out its new global road safety initiative, Vital Strategies has developing partnerships in Ghana and Ethiopia, Through research and the development of relationships with key partners, the road safety program is making headway in reducing the number of traffic injuries and fatalities in Africa’s fastest growing cities.
Dr. Nguke Mwakatundu
Country Director, Maternal Health Program, Tanzania
Dr. Nguke Mwakatundu has considerable experience in leading public health projects with a special interest in reproductive health. Combining medical knowledge, strategic leadership, program and people management, resource mobilization, advocacy and financial acumen, he is responsible for implementing and expanding a Maternal Health program that has already saved thousands of lives. He leads and supports the team in the planning, design and implementation of the Tanzania program, while also overseeing staff and finances and managing Vital Strategies' relationships with the Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) and partners at the facility, district and regional levels as well as civil society.
Prior to joining Vital Strategies Dr. Mwakatundu was Reproductive Health Director at Population Services International (PSI) in Tanzania. Previously, he had served as Zonal Manager at PSI in Tanzania, and Project Manager of a World Diabetes Foundation-funded project. He holds a degree in medicine from Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, an MBA in International Business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade and further qualifications in integrated project management and reproductive health leadership from the University of Dar es Salaam and PSI Washington respectively.