Dr. Upendo Mwingira named as Act | East Technical Director

09 Nov 2021

The USAID Act to End Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) | East program is pleased to announce Dr. Upendo Mwingira as Technical Director.

In this role, Dr. Mwingira will advance technical excellence, solutions, and innovation across Act | East focus areas and geographies. As leader of the program’s technical areas, Dr. Mwingira will forge strong relationships with ministries of health and other stakeholders, oversee program deliverables and thought leadership, facilitate cross-sectoral learning, and advance Act | East’s culture of technical innovation, solutioning, and learning.

“Dr. Mwingira is a trailblazer in the global fight against NTDs. She is a proven technical leader, a respected collaborator, and an impressive innovator who will continue Act | East’s technical excellence and chart our path forward. Dr. Mwingira will also play an incredibly important role guiding Act | East support to ministries of health, building off her decade of experience directing Tanzania’s NTD efforts,” said Lisa Rotondo, Act | East Program Director.

Before joining RTI International and Act | East as a Senior NTD Advisor in 2019, Dr. Mwingira spent more than 10 years managing Tanzania’s national NTD control program, one of the first integrated programs of its kind. Through her leadership, Tanzania scaled up mass treatment to populations at risk for five NTDs, reaching 100 percent geographical coverage. The program then succeeded in significantly scaling down treatment for lymphatic filariasis and trachoma, and Tanzania is now on track to eliminate both diseases by 2030.

Dr. Mwingira has served as a temporary Technical Advisor for the World Health Organization and has supported various African countries to develop multi-year NTD master plans and program designs. She is a member of several global technical advisory groups and has been a research scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research in Tanzania (NIMR). Dr. Mwingira has led several multi-country studies on NTDs, establishing strong and effective partnerships with various donors and multilateral organizations working on NTDs. She has published in leading scientific journals and disseminated her research in various local and international fora.