Remembering Alfred Mteta, Long-Time DGHI Collaborator

Tanzanian surgeon was a pioneer in medical education and international partnership.

Alred Mteta

Alfred Mteta, right, in Tanzania with John Bartlett, Charles Muiruri and Ahaz Kulanga

Published November 27, 2023 under Around DGHI

DGHI researchers are marking the loss of a long-time partner and friend. Alfred Mteta, one of the pillars of DGHI’s collaborations with the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi, Tanzania, died on Nov. 21 after suffering cardiac arrest.

Mteta, trained as a surgeon and urologist, served as deputy provost for academic affairs at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College (KCMU). With DGHI’s John Bartlett, he co-led the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a long-running collaboration between KCMU and Duke to advance clinical training and research opportunities in Tanzania. He was chair elect of the AfreHealth Council and vice chair of COSECSA, the largest surgical training program in sub-Saharan Africa. He was also a member of the board of directors for the Consortium of Universities in Global Health (CUGH).

“DGHI has lost a good friend and collaborator,” says Bartlett. “He had a keen interest in all of his students.  We were close friends and worked together on so many projects.”

 Bartlett says one of his favorite memories of Mteta was when the Tanzanian researcher dropped in unannounced on a talk Bartlett was giving about the DGHI-KCMU partnership. “There was great laughter and joy, and it demonstrated a real spirit of camaraderie to the Trent audience,” he says. 

At that event, Mteta was asked about the keys to making international collaboration work. “He gave an eloquent answer about communication, consistency and trust.,” recalls Bartlett.