Americares Tanzania Country Director Dr. Nguke Richard Mwakatundu oversees all aspects of the organization’s health programming in Tanzania, including its groundbreaking respectful care program and ongoing deliveries of medicine and medical supplies. He is responsible for leading the design, implementing and directing innovative health programs that strengthen health systems and expand access to care for people affected by poverty or disaster in the Kigoma, Mwanza and Shinyanga regions. Americares provides ongoing support for 15 hospitals and clinics throughout the country, delivering medicine, medical supplies, infrastructure improvement and training.
Dr. Mwakatundu oversees the Americares Community Partnerships for Respectful Care Program, which aims to increase the number of expectant mothers utilizing antenatal, delivery and family planning services with a goal of contributing to lower maternal and infant morbidity and mortality rates. Through the program, Americares also supports nearly 300 health facilities across Tanzania to access critically needed COVID-19 vaccinations for their patients. Dr. Mwakatundu also has oversight of an Americares fistula repair program at Bugando Hospital in Mwanza, its health worker safety interventions at Kibondo Hospital in Kigoma and overall leadership of the country team.
In addition, Dr. Mwakatundu serves as a member of Americares senior Leadership Team, supporting the CEO in implementing the strategy and achieving the mission of the health-focused relief and development organization.
A leader in the maternal and child health field, Dr. Mwakatundu, based in Dar es Salaam, brings to Americares nearly two decades of experience working in public health and medicine. Prior to joining Americares in 2020, he served as the executive director of Thamini Uhai, formerly known as World Lung Foundation, an organization that aims to improve women’s access to quality, comprehensive emergency obstetric care, particularly in rural areas of Tanzania. Under his leadership, Thamini Uhai won the 2019 Foundation for Civil Society’s CSO Excellence Award for its efforts to improve health for women and newborns in rural, marginalized communities in Kigoma, Morogoro and Pwani.
From 2013 to 2016, Dr. Mwakatundu served as country director for the World Lung Foundation in Tanzania, where he led a maternal and reproductive health program in three regions of the country. Prior to that, he served as the reproductive health director at Population Services International, overseeing a team that supported the programmatic work carried out by over 100 staff members.
Dr. Mwakatundu also served as a medical officer at Muhimbili National Hospital’s pediatric department, where he treated children with malnutrition and pediatric AIDS. Prior to that, he was the resident medical officer at Aga Khan Hospital Dar es Salaam. Dr. Mwakatundu also conducted tuberculosis and HIV immunological research while serving as a medical officer for the Mbeya Medical Research Program.
Dr. Mwakatundu earned his medical degree from the University of Dar es Salaam’s Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences and a Master of Business Administration in International Business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. He served as board chair for the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood in Tanzania from 2019 to 2021 and is a board member of Thamini Uhai’s Board of Directors. He is fluent in Kiswahili and English.