OBITUARY: Dr. Bertha Tsingay Akona’ay Maegga


Dr. Maegga

Dr. Bertha Tsingay Akona’ay Maegga, former Chief Research Scientist with the National Institute for Medical Research, died on June 30, 2016 at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam. Dr. Bertha Maegga (65) was born in Mbulu District of the then Arusha region and obtained her primary school education at Maretadu Primary School (1958-1961) and later at Mbulu Girls’ Middle School (1962-1965). She joined Loleza Girls’ Secondary in Mbeya for her O’level education in 1966-1969. She then went to Kilakala Girls’ Secondary School in Morogoro for A level education in 1970. Dr. Maegga studied Chemistry and Zoology and was awarded a BSc with Honors degree of the University of Dar es Salaam in 1975. In 1980 she studied medical parasitology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and awarded MSc degree of the University of London. Dr. Maegga joined the Cornell University at Ithaca in New York, USA for a PhD programme in 1984-1992.

Dr. Bertha Maegga started her career as Scientific Officer (Entomologist / Parasitologist) with the Malaria Control Unit of the Ministry of Health where she saved for seven years (April, 1975 – June, 1982). She joined the National Institute for Medical Research as the first female research scientist in July 1984. She was the Acting Head of Tukuyu Research Station from 1986-1988 before been promoted to Senior Research Scientist and Head of Station (Tukuyu) in July 1989. Dr. Maegga, was transferred to the Headquarters of the National Institute for Medical Research in Dar es Salaam in February 2006 and until her retirement in 2011 she was Chief Research Scientist. She successfully coordinated the Global Fund Five Year Health Impact Evaluation Project whose data informed the Government intensely. Dr. Maegga had published 31 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journal and book chapters.

The NIMR staff, local and international collaborators who have enjoyed her support in health research will always miss this extraordinary woman. She is survived with a daughter, Emily. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are especially conveyed to her daughter and the family and friends that have been touched by her death.

May God rest her soul in peace!