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Obituary for Dr Christopher Zishiri

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25 April 1967 – 14 August 2021

Dr Christopher Zishiri MBCHB MPH FFPH (UK) was a gifted public health professional, who devoted his time and energy to the strengthening of tuberculosis (TB) care and prevention in Zimbabwe. He was the founding Executive Director of The Union Zimbabwe Trust (UZT) and, prior to that, was the Country Director of International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) in Zimbabwe.

After qualifying in Medicine, Chris served as District Medical Officer in Mberengwa and later became Provincial Medical Director for Midlands Province. He advanced his studies further and attained a Masters in Public Health from University of Zimbabwe. Chris also became a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine during his time working for the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.

On his return to his home country in 2013, he took up the position of Zimbabwe Country Director at The Union, he spearheaded the final years of TB CARE I and the Challenge TB projects. His supreme leadership qualities enabled him to relate with and actively engage healthcare professionals and stakeholders at every level. He meticulously combined his deep understanding of strengths and challenges at all service implementation levels with the latest international guidance.

In 2019, Chris was pivotal in establishing The Union Zimbabwe Trust (UZT). From then on Chris did his outmost to develop the new local non-governmental organisation and its portfolio of TB projects. He was highly regarded by the UZT team, consortium partners, as well as the National Tuberculosis Programme and other Ministry of Health and Child Care officials.

Chris continued to interact with The Union on collaborative projects. Everyone at The Union will remember him fondly as a dedicated public health expert, who identified closely with The Union values and mission. He leaves a huge gap in TB care and prevention in Zimbabwe and beyond.

His vision of sustainable health solutions for Zimbabwean communities, which end TB in the country, will go on.

May his soul rest in peace.

Dr Christopher Zishiri