Traditional Medicine Centre (TMC) of the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) is among the seven NIMR centers that was upgraded to a full-fledged center in March 2021. Initially it operated as a department from year 2000 under the Directorate of Research Coordination and Promotion (DRCP), its mandate is to carry out and promote the carrying out of research into various aspects of local traditional medical practices for the purpose of facilitating the development and application of herbal medicines. Through the years the center has conducted various research activities mainly pre-clinical and environment research. In recent years, the center has expanded its roles to include environmental health research, health systems, health economics and, maternal, child health and herbal medicines production and teasing


(A) Research Capacity
  • Pre- and clinical evaluation (efficacy and toxicity) of locally available medicinal plants traditionally used for management of various ailments in Tanzania
  • Extraction, fractionation and isolation of active chemical ingredients from medicinal plants
  • Product development through formulation, testing and production in lab and factory scale
  • Health economics related areas such as economic evaluation, child health, health systems, health inequalities and global health
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene in the community (community WASH)
  • IPC, Wash in health care facilities
  • Air pollution and health
  • Toxic effects of biological, chemical and physical agents from environment
  • Child and maternal health
  • Indigenous knowledge related to health
(B) Human Resources Capacity

Currently TMC is having 24 staff and among them, 11 are research scientists (6 PhDs and 5 M.Sc.). Researchers have diverse areas of specialization indulging phytochemistry, health economist, public health and environmental health specialist. The rest are supporting staff from various departments/sections and the number of personnel including accounts (2), Human resources (5), Information Technology (2), procurement (2) Laboratory (2) and estates

(C) Laboratory Capacity

The center has recently established well equipped laboratories which include a natural product laboratory, Microbiology laboratory, biochemistry laboratory and the Research and development laboratory. Some key equipment crucial for undertaking of various research include; Analytical HPLC, freeze driers, UV-VIS spectrophotometer, rotary evaporators, lab scale tableting and capsule filling machines, hematological analyzer etc. Others Include; Chemistry analyzer, kjeldahl apparatus


The center has other necessary resources that enhances its ability to perform various activities. These include availability of working space, three vehicles, one being specialized for harvesting raw materials, most offices are equipped with computers and printing facilities, animal house and a 24/7 availability of internet services

A student in a chemistry lab (left) and our technologist drawing blood from mouse for parasitemia assessment (right)

A rotary evaporator  (left) and plant materials soaked in beakers (right)

Some important analytical equipment: HPLC (left), apparatus (middle) and hematological analyzer and an oven (right)