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Cordaid NL
Health care

In memoriam Dr. Sake Rijpkema, international healthcare pioneer

Last month, Prof. dr. Sake Rijpkema passed away. He has meant a lot to international healthcare and to Memisa, one of Cordaid’s forerunners.

Sake Rijpkema was involved in the merger between Memisa and Medicus Mundi in 1986. He also played an essential role in the preparations for the merger of Memisa Medicus Mundi with Mensen in Nood and Cebemo in 2000. To a large extent, this last transition launched Cordaid into the 21st century.

“We are indebted to Sake for his contribution to better healthcare and better health in the world.”

As President of Medicus Mundi International (MMI), Sake made a significant contribution to the thematic renewal of international healthcare in the last three decades of the 20th century. The World Health Organization acknowledged this innovation and granted MMI special status at the annual World Health Assembly.

The period between 1970 and 2000 is characterized by innovative thinking in many areas of international health care. Innovations took place in primary health care, district health care, in health service contracting. The financing of health care became a key topic. The dialogue between church-related and non-church-related partners gained momentum. And, not unimportantly, contraception was increasingly seen as an indispensable part of good mother and child care.

Sake Rijpkema has made a significant contribution to all of these developments and innovations. They resonate to this day in Cordaid’s work and healthcare policy.

“Sake was a very amiable person, very committed but always respectful to local partners with different views than his own. We are indebted to him for his contribution to better healthcare and better health in the world”, say Christina de Vries and Jos Dusseljee, both senior healthcare specialists at Cordaid. Christina is also vice president of Medicus Mundi Internationalis.

Read the in memoriam of Sake Rijpkema on the website of Medicus Mundi. This page also features an article in which Dr. Rijpkema looks back on his long career in international healthcare and his commitment to ‘health for all’.