In Memoriam

CHAI’s staff is our greatest asset. Under often immense difficulties, they work tirelessly across the globe with our partners to strengthen health systems and save lives. 

We are deeply saddened when we lose one of our beloved colleagues. In recognition of their dedication, we have created this page to memorialize them and honor their lives.

Photo of Lucie Zikudenka

Ms. Lucie Zikudieka

Lucie joined CHAI in 2021 as an independent consultant and spent the last few years tirelessly working to create and expand the Sexual Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (SRMNCH) program in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2022, she became the Senior Program Officer, leading the DMPA-SC self-injectable scale-up project, which was implemented in nine universities. She also supported the Ministry of Health to institutionalize new reproductive health products in the country.

Lucie leaves behind a loving family, including four children.

Sekuncono Dlamini headshot

Ms. Sekuncono Caron Dhlamini

Sekuncono Caron Dhlamini joined CHAI in 2020 as an associate in the Sexual Reproductive Health team and then went on to join the Malaria team in January of 2022. In both her roles, Sekuncono was committed to increasing both the demand for and access to healthcare services. Sekuncono passionately championed for rights of South Africans and especially youth to access public health care. The National Department of Health often said that BWise, the youth health platform, would not exist without Sekuncono’s tireless commitment to keeping it running. Sekuncono always left a lasting impression in the minds of all those that met her, and was a friend, confidante, and sister to many that worked with her.

Sekuncono passed away in August 2022. She is survived by her husband, mother, siblings, and beloved daughter Thoriso.


Mr. Birineh Aychew

Mr. Birineh Aychew joined CHAI Ethiopia in December 2006 as senior driver. He was hard working, dedicated, committed and passionate in his work, always respecting CHAI values and operational principles.

Mr. Aychew died in December 2020. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and his 94-year-old mother.


Mr. Ashutosh Mishra

Mr. Ashutosh Mishra joined CHAI in July 2020 to work as a program manager on our immunization team in Uttar Pradesh, India. He led a team of project coordinators and community engagement officers to increase vaccination coverage in some of the most difficult to reach places in the state. Before joining CHAI, Mr. Mishra spent much of his career working to improve public health in India. He worked on the National Polio Surveillance Program before joining Pathfinder International. He then spent five years working with the state Immunization Program in Uttar Pradesh.

Mr. Mishra died in May 2021. He leaves behind a loving family, including three children.


Mr. Wilberto Montalvan

Mr. Wilberto Montalvan joined CHAI as a subnational coordinator in Honduras in June 2021, following a brief retirement after serving in various positions in the Health Secretariat of Honduras for 33 years.

He was passionate about his work and always more comfortable in the field than behind a desk. He recently helped the team in Honduras recruit an army of consultants to support work on the Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative (RMEI). Mr. Montalvan was an advocate of the community health worker network for malaria elimination and committed to ensuring community volunteers were treated with dignity and respect.

Mr. Montalvan died in September 2021 and leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

Picture of Wenzile Mthimkhulu, Supply Chain Associate, Liberia

Mr. Wenzile Mthimkhulu

Mr. Wenzile Mthimkhulu first joined CHAI in 2011, in Eswatini, his home country. He left for a few years to pursue other opportunities but returned to the organization in 2018 to join the Liberia team as a supply chain associate.  In the role, he was responsible for providing technical assistance to the government to meet commodity and supply chain needs at the national, county, facility, and community level. Mr. Mthimkhulu was a calm and warm presence and was beloved by his colleagues.

He died in August 2021 and leaves behind his three children along with his mother, father, and sister.


Ms. Sidonie Uwimpuhwe

Ms. Sidonie Uwimpuhwe joined CHAI in 2018 as our first Rwandese national country director in Rwanda. Under her leadership, the Rwanda program grew almost threefold in funding and impact, launching significant work across the range of CHAI’s strategic focus areas.

She held masters’ degrees in public health and gender studies. Before CHAI, she served in a series of leadership positions in the health sector as well as in the promotion of vulnerable women at the Rwanda Ministry of Health, the National AIDS Control Commission (CNLS), Rwanda BioMedical Center (RBC), and later at Care International Rwanda.

Ms. Uwimpuhwe died in February 2021. She is survived by her four children.

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