A first-hand account from Mary Mei, Kupona Advisory Board member

Recently I had the opportunity to see first-hand the wonderful work that is happening at CCBRT, the non-governmental organization (NGO) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for which Kupona Foundation raises funds and makes connections. Although I have been an Advisory Board member since 2012, this was my first time visiting the hospital grounds.

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By late afternoon the long lines of patients have cycled through the CCBRT Disability Hospital


In my day job, I work for the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, a coalition of 49 African Heads of State and Government working to end malaria-related deaths. His Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete was our founding Chair, so I have always had a unique interest in Tanzania. Country ownership is critical to the success of our organization. I have been impressed with African leadership’s commitment to combating a problem that is critical to the continent’s future.

Walking through the wings of the hospital, I was struck by the strong public-private partnership model CCBRT has developed with the Government of Tanzania (GoT). CCBRT is a nationally-registered NGO, and its constitution and registration enable it to establish programs across Tanzania. The GoT currently contributes to staff salaries, and donated the land on which the current hospital sits, as well as the land where the new Maternity and Newborn Hospital is currently being constructed, (an invaluable contribution in a city where real estate prices are soaring!)  GoT support will also extend to cover a portion of staff salaries and consumables when the new hospital is complete in late 2015. CCBRT is dedicated to capacity building through training their own staff, as well as capacity building to strengthen the maternal and newborn health system. They also have a private clinic, enabling them to generate income that offsets the cost of the heavily subsidized services they provide to the majority of their clients/patients.

Few hospitals on the continent have adopted such an innovative model of collaboration and sustainability.

In my field, global health advocates are concerned that when the Millennium Development Goals draw to a close next year, international donors will shift their focus away from health toward environmental concerns. My concern was alleviated during my tour last week. CCBRT is here to stay and will continue its noble mission of serving the men, women and children of Tanzania. From my perspective, its unique Public Private Partnership remains one of the most compelling reasons to contribute to CCBRT through Kupona Foundation.

Mary Mei

Kupona Advisory Board member, Mary Mei