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Japhet Mara Urasa worked at Muhimbili (previously Princess Margaret) Hospital in Dar es Salaam and had a major role in setting up the medical school at the University of Dar es Salaam, combining clinical appointment with teaching anatomy. He completed his surgical training in the United Kingdom, and on his return home worked in various regional centres. He was a prime mover in establishing a new medical school at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre. He was also a pioneer in setting up a surgical training programme, including a surgical intensive care unit in Moshi. In his subsequent career he established and directed a private hospital in Arusha.
He was organist in his local church and served on management committees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. He was an environmental conservationist and used solar energy and biogas on his farm, where he kept cattle, goats, and bees. He leaves a wife, Bassilla, and five children (an architect, two physicians, a dentist, and a general practitioner). He was buried in Machame in Kilimanjaro at the base of the mountain—the abode of the legendary spirit, Kibo—which was his backdrop in his growing years and also in his surgical career.
Consultant surgeon Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Moshi, Tanzania (b 1934; q Makerere 1962; FRCS), died from a ruptured aortic aneurysm on 23 June 2007.