Dr. Godfrey Mbaruku: A tribute and review of the life of a maternal health crusader in Tanzania

Karen Yeates, Sidonie Chard, Alexa Eberle, Alexandra Lucchese, Melinda Chelva, Zacharia Mtema, Prisca Dominic Marandu, Graeme Smith, Erica Erwin, Anna Nswilla, Robert Philemon Tillya


Dr. Godfrey Mbaruku, an obstetrician-gynecologist and one of Tanzania’s most dedicated maternal health researchers, passed away in September 2018. His professional career spanned over four decades, with the last decade of his life dedicated to maternal health research, advocacy and policy in Africa. We undertook a review of the key global milestones in maternal health policy, funding and research that took place during Dr. Mbaruku’s career until his untimely death in 2018. We then reflect on the progress of the maternal health agenda from 2018 to 2021 as lower middle income countries (LMICs) continue to strive to reach the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the midst of a global pandemic. Dr. Godfrey Mbaruku’s commitment to improving maternal health in Tanzania through his advocacy and research contributions over his professional life will forever serve as foundational pillars for the ongoing global effort to reduce maternal mortality. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[3s]:22-29).

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