By Nyemudzai Kakore
Health Advisor to the President and Cabinet Dr Timothy Stamps has died. He was 81. Dr Stamps, who is the former Minister of Health and Child Care, died yesterday afternoon at Borrowdale Trauma Centre.
Dr David Parirenyatwa yesterday said Dr Stamps had succumbed to a lung infection.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care in particular and Zimbabweans in general, he said, had lost a hero who contributed immensely to the development of the health sector in the country.
“I can confirm that we lost Dr Stamps in the afternoon at Borrowdale Trauma Centre,” said Dr Parirenyatwa. “Dr Stamps died peacefully. He had been unwell for some time.
“Dr Stamps was a good man who made significant and strong innovations in the health sector. Remember that even before he became the Minister for Health, he was the Director of City Health.”
Dr Parirenyatwa said full details on funeral arrangements will be announced today.
Before Independence, Dr Stamps worked for the then Salisbury (now Harare) Municipality’s health department, where he rose to become the chief medical officer for the city.
During his stint, he attempted to give blacks access to health facilities, much to the chagrin of the Rhodesian authorities.
After Independence, Dr Stamps served in the Government of Zimbabwe as Minister of Health from 1990 to 2002.
He is credited for playing a pivotal role in championing the fight against HIV and Aids, a role he bravely took up after taking over from Dr Felix Muchemwa in 1990.
Most notably, in 1999 he led an initiative to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.
His efforts, together with the support of Ministry of Health and Child Care officials, saw the creation of the National Aids Council (NAC) in 1999, through an Act of Parliament.
The establishment of the AIDS levy, whereby companies and the formally employed are taxed three percent of their taxable income, also illustrated Government’s commitment to tackle the Aids scourge head-on.
In 2004, Dr Stamps founded the Dr Timothy Stamps Trust for people living with chronic conditions after being touched by the plight of people living with such diseases. It also helped to ease the burden of non-communicable diseases in the country.
Dr Stamps also advocated for the development of a policy that rehabilitates and treats drug addicts instead of incarcerating them. The Herald