Mozambique recently lost a great force for change. As his close colleague Dr. Antonio Tanda describes, “Ricardo Trindade was a very special man who applied his many skills and his dedication to community health and development, and to a stronger civil society in Mozambique”.
As the Deputy National Director for Human Resources and Training in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Trindade’s professional career was focused on training health personnel and developing health resources throughout Mozambique. He played a key role in supporting the original Training for Health Renewal Program (THRP), a community health partnership between Mozambique and Canada, and visited Saskatoon over the years to build links and deliver workshops. THRP developed the Massinga Training Centre for training community health workers. Its graduates have gone on over the years to work in community health throughout Mozambique.
“Dr. Trindade was one of the first to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS in Mozambique. His efforts led to the organizing of MONASO, the leading national organization to educate and mobilize communities against the impact of HIV/AIDs,” said Antonio Tanda.
In the many initiatives that Dr. Trinidade was part of, he was always very supportive of community engagement and involvement. Canadian friend and colleague Don Kossick relates how a major aspect of Dr. Trindade’s contribution was to promote connections between health institutions and communities so they both benefit. Kossick recalled, “He played a major role in encouraging health institutions to build relationships directly with communities, community health committees and community leaders. He encouraged health workers who go to communities to play a positive, respectful role in the delivery of health services. I had the privilege of working directly with Ricardo in delivering workshops on governance at the community level. He would encourage community health leadership structures to be well organized and aware of conveying the health needs of their communities and playing a role in the health delivery.”
Canadian friend Murray Dickson describes how. “Trindade was a hugely valued mentor and friend of so many of us Canadians. He taught me a lot in both a serious and engaging manner !! And on two sides of the vast Atlantic Ocean !!”
Trindade also dedicated his time and energy to co-founding a national centre to support children with special needs (CERCI) and worked on initiatives to support young people in trouble and rehabilitate those addicted to drugs.
“At the end of a day, he would leave his daily work at the Ministry of Health to be a counsellor to the NGOs he had helped develop, such as MONASO for HIV/AIDS and CERCI for special needs children,” said Antonio Tanda.
Even after his retirement from the Ministry of Health, Dr. Trindade had a nonstop life and kept up his social involvement. For example, he spent time working in his wife’s community-based pharmacies. He also had water boreholes drilled on his land to provide his neighbours in surrounding rural communities with access to clean drinking water.
Dr. Tanda concluded, “He was part of a movement for a strong civil society, one that supports those who have been left behind. That was Trindade.”