PRESIDENT LUNGU MOURNS FORMER MINISTER JOSEPH KASONDE

WE ARE GATHERED AT THIS SOLEMN OCCASION TO BID FAREWELL TO A VERY GALLANT SON OF THE NATION; RENOWNED MEDICAL PRACTITIONER AND POLITICIAN, DR JOSEPH MWENYA KASONDE, WHO PASSED AWAY ON FRIDAY, 25TH AUGUST, 2017 AT THE UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL IN LUSAKA.

LET ME ON BEHALF OF MY GOVERNMENT CONVEY OUR DEEPEST CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY OF THE LATE DR. KASONDE, THE FORMER MINISTER OF HEALTH WHO SERVED HIS COUNTRY WITH SUFFICIENT HONOUR AND SUCCESS.

THE NATION HAS LOST A TRUE STATESMAN WHO COMMITTED HIS LIFE TO THE CAUSE OF SEEING A HEALTHY AND PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE.

THE MEDICAL FRATERNITY HAS INDEED LOST AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAD GREAT PASSION TO SERVING COMMUNITIES WITH COMMITMENT TO A CLEAN, CARING AND COMPETENT ENVIRONMENT, THE THREE CS AS FAMOUSLY REFERED TO THEM.

DR KASONDE WAS A DEDICATED AND HIGHLY QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL. HE SERVED THIS COUNTRY WITH DISTINCTION. HE TREMENDOUSLY CONTRIBUTED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY’S HEALTH CARE POLICIES AND PUBLIC HEALTH MANAGEMENT, AS WELL AS HEALTH LEGISLATION.

 THE LATE DR. KASONDE GRADUATED FROM UNITED KINGDOM’S ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY IN 1966 WITH A BACHELOR OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY DEGREE. HE ATTAINED HIS DOCTORATE OF MEDICINE FROM OXFORD UNIVERSITY IN 1976.

HIS SELFLESS COMMITMENT TO THE MEDICAL PROFESSION WAS CLEARLY EVIDENT IN THE VARIOUS CAPACITIES HE SERVED. HE SERVED AS SENIOR LECTURER AND HEAD OF THE OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY DEPARTMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA FROM 1976 TO 1977.

HE ALSO SERVED AS DIRECTOR OF MEDICAL SERVICES FROM 1977 TO 1984, COMBINING THIS POSITION WITH THAT OF PERMANENT SECRETARY IN THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH FROM 1979.  IN THIS CAPACITY, HE ALSO SERVED AS PERSONAL PHYSICIAN TO THE FIRST REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, DR. KENNETH DAVID KAUNDA.

THIS GREAT MAN SERVED ON VARIOUS LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL BODIES DEDICATED TO THE WELL-BEING OF HUMANITY.

USING HIS PRIVILEGED BACKGROUND, DR KASONDE PURSUED VERY HIGH STANDARDS IN EVERYTHING HE DID. HE DID NOT SEEK NARROW INTERESTS OR DEFEND HIS PRIVILEGED, BUT ALWAYS WANTED TO SPREAD PRIVILEGED!

HE PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE IN TRANSFORMING THE HEALTH SECTOR WHEN HE WAS NOMINATED MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND APPOINTED CABINET MINISTER FOR THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH, ON 29TH SEPTEMBER, 2011, BY THE LATE PRESIDENT, HIS EXCELLENCY MR. MICHAEL CHILUFYA SATA, A POSITION HE HELD UNTIL 2016.

AS MINISTER OF HEALTH, DR KASONDE PERFORMED HIS DUTIES WITH DILIGENCE AND A RARE SENSE OF COMMITMENT, WHICH SHOULD BE EMULATED BY ALL MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS AND THE PUBLIC SERVICE AT LARGE.

THE LATE DR. KASONDE WILL BE GREATLY MISSED BY THE FAMILY; WE IN GOVERNMENT; THE MEDICAL FRATERNITY; FRIENDS HERE AND ABROAD, AND THE COUNTRY AT LARGE.

HIS DEATH HAS ROBBED US OF HIS IMMENSE WISDOM, VAST EXPERIENCE AND PASSION FOR QUALITY HEALTH CARE FOR ALL. HIS LIFE WAS INDEED WELL ACCOMPLISHED.

MAY HIS SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE.

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