Helen Igobego Lugina PhD, RN was an Associate professor at the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences in Mwanza (CUHAS), Tanzania at the time of her death on the 31st of May, 2011. She was one of the founders of the Arch Bishop Anthony Mayala School of Nursing at CUHAS. Helen earned her diploma in nursing (1974) and diploma in nursing education (1980) in Dar Es Salaam. She earned a BScN (1990) and Master in Nursing (1992) in Dalhousie, Canada and a PhD in Nursing (2001) in Uppsala, Sweden. She was one of the founders (1989) of the BSN program and a former dean (2003-2005) at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) School of Nursing before she accepted the position of the coordinator of Human Resources Development and Capacity Building program for the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) in 2005.
In her professional career, Dr Lugina pioneered midwifery research, education and policy development initiatives and became the founding member and chair of the African Midwives Research Network (AMRN), which is now renamed Lugina Africa Midwives Research Network (LAMRN) to honor her memory and contributions to the scientific evidence for provision of quality reproductive health and midwifery care in Africa.
Her services to nursology included the editor role and responsibilities for the African Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health , a journal dedicated to improving maternity care and maternal, newborn and child health in Africa. Her main research was in postpartum care where she contributed to the development of a theoretical framework on postpartum care based on midwives’ perceived roles (Lugina, Johansson, Lindmark, & Christensson, 2002).
Dr Lugina was one of the finest nurse educators and scientists in Tanzania and East Africa. She was a true advocate of the profession and effective mentor. She provided many mentorship opportunities of co-authoring of journal articles and grant writing with her students and colleagues. As a junior nurse educator and scientist at the MUHAS School of Nurse Teachers , I was honored to be mentored by Dr Lugina in securing my first research grant, attending and presenting my first nursing research conference paper (podium presentation); and publishing my first journal article. We thank her for her leadership. She is truly missed by many.
In memoriam (2013): Professor Helen Lugina: Dedicated to improving maternal and neonatal
care. African Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 5, 3. https://doi.org/10.12968/ajmw.2011.5.3.110
Lugina, H. I., Johansson, E., Lindmark, G., & Christensson, K. (2002). Developing a theoretical framework on postpartum care from Tanzanian midwives’ views on their role. Midwifery, 18(1), 12-20. DOI: 10.1054/midw.2001.0290
Mudokwenyu-Rawdon, C (2013). In memory of Helen Igobeko Lugina., African Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 7, 3. https://doi.org/10.12968/ajmw.2012.6.4.161