IMMEDIATE past Minister of Health Dr Joseph Kasonde has died after a long battle with cancer of the Liver.
Dr Kasonde, 79, was appointed minister by Michael Sata in 2011, a position he served until 2016 when President Edgar Lungu appointed his Dr Chitalu Chilufya, who served as his deputy, to the position.
Dr Chilufya has announced Dr Kasonde’s passing in a statement this morning.
“With a profound sense of regret, I announce the passing on of Honourable Dr. Joseph Mwenya Kasonde, immediate past Minister of Health. The Health sector has yet again been robbed of an internationally acclaimed practitioner of medicine. He was a maestro of a doctor; my teacher and a teacher of many, a mentor; a doctor who diligently served the world and the nation; and he laid a firm foundation for reforms in the health sector. He will be dearly missed. Sincere condolences to the wife and family. May His Soul rest in peace,” stated Dr Chilufya.
Dr.Kasonde, who died last night in Lusaka, graduated with a bachelor degree of medicine and surgery from Aberdeen University in 1966 and got a Doctor of Medicine degree from Oxford University in 1976.
He was a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
From 1977 to 1984, Dr Kasonde served as Director of Medical Services, combining this position with that of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health of Zambia from 1979.
From 1985 to 1998, he worked for the World Health Organization as Responsible Officer for Research Capacity Strengthening in Developing countries.
He was nominated member of parliament and appointed Cabinet minister in 2011 by president Sata, and reappointed to the same position by President Edgar Lungu until 2016.
Dr Kasonde is survived by his wife, Mary, five children and several grandchildren.