his year, IMA World Health is celebrating 20 years of work in Tanzania. In many ways, that celebration also recognizes the changes that helped IMA become the organization it is today.
IMA was founded in 1960 to procure and distribute medical supplies to the developing world. But in 1995, then-CEO Paul Derstine took a bold step to start treating a disease — River Blindness — that became IMA’s first field project. As we look back, we can point to that moment as the turning point that helped make IMA a stronger organization and gave us the ability to have a greater impact on people in need.
Looking back at the mid 1990s, the River Blindness Project was funded by 10 IMA Member Organizations along with Merck & Co. to create a truly partnership-oriented effort. It brought together faith-based, corporate, government and NGO partners. This partnership and collaboration became the foundation for the organization that IMA is today.
While IMA Tanzania’s legacy stretches all over the world, let’s celebrate the incredible amount of work that has occurred within Tanzania in the past two decades: