Dr. Kikwilu was critical to the first phase of MUHAS Dental School’s upgrade in 2009, which included the donation and installation of dental operators and chairs, X-ray machines, sterilizers, compressors, dental instruments, new cabinetry and sterilization centers. Even after his retirement, Dr. Kikwilu supported MCW’s Oral Health Care initiatives by taking the time to meet with, advise, and guide MCW’s OHC team members – including advising our OHC Fellows who are dental therapists.
Dr. Kikwilu was a humble, kind, and selfless human who truly believed in helping his fellow Tanzanians. He cared so deeply about oral health across his country – going above and beyond to ensure MUHAS Dental School received the proper attention needed.
On behalf of MCW’s Oral Health Care team (Dr. Bergman, Regina, Fredrick & Sara) and MCW, we are truly thankful for Dr. Kikwilu’s passion, guidance, and care to better the lives of his fellow Tanzanian’s through oral health. We will miss him very much and are grateful to have had the opportunity to closely work with and know him.
Here’s a link of Dr. Bergman presenting Dr. Kikwilu with MCW’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award in New York City last year: https://youtu.be/fBgZMEjJ-R8?t=51m2s
Here’s a link to some photos of Dr. Kikwilu: https://photos.app.goo.gl/iRdMs2N89JuLuSDY7
In 1979, Dr Kikwilu joined university studies pursuing the course in Dentistry. He was among the first batch of degree graduates in dentistry trained locally in Tanzania. Immediately after graduation, in 1986, he decided to pursue an academic career. After graduating with the second degree in Master of Community Dentistry in 1989, he was offered a position in administration, as the first Dean of the then Faculty of Dentistry from 1991-1996, which was later upgraded to School of Dentistry. He also worked in different administrative positions in the then Muhimbili Medical Centre and in the University for the years that followed his second degree graduation.
To cut the chain of administrative duties, he decided to register for PhD studies in 2004 in The Netherlands. He was convinced that as a student, he would escape administrative duties. Surprisingly that was not the case; instead he was appointed as the Dean of the School of Dentistry again in 2006, while still undertaking his PhD studies. The deanship term had to end in 2009 when he was approaching the compulsory retirement age of 60 years. In that same year that he was awarded his PhD degree. During this second term as the dean of school of dentistry when was when he first met Dr. Marion Bergman and gained insight about MCW.
Although professionally, Kikwilu focused largely on administrative duties, his passion was with practicing basic dentistry and Public Health Dentistry. He worked with Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) under his 4th two-year term contract.